A few generations ago, a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes meant your life was turned upside down. Treating it meant weighing your food and avoiding all sugars, and odds were you’d lose a limb to amputation or go blind before you died.
Today, the disease is often diagnosed much earlier, when patients can make lifestyle changes that are sometimes enough to keep the disease from progressing. Medication can also help, and most Type 2 diabetics who follow their doctors’ advice are able to delay or avoid the worst complications.
Take Sally Fullmer. During a panel of routine tests about 15 or 20 years ago, her doctors discovered she was diabetic.
“I teased my doctor, you’re dying to find something wrong with me,” said the Twin Falls woman, 72, recalling the time. “I was really disappointed and upset because I thought I’d have to give up everything.”