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Which of the below statements about type 2 diabetes mellitus is correct?
  • A

    Controlling one’s diet and regular exercise are the most effective treatments, as the type of diabetes cannot be treated with insulin.

  • B
    Risk factors include low blood pressure, increasing age, obesity, a diet rich in simple carbohydrates, and a lack of physical exercise.
  • C
    A pilot diagnosed with this type of diabetes must be considered unfit, for class 1 medical certification.
  • D

    It is usually diagnosed in adulthood, and a typical symptom is unexplained weight loss.

Learning Objective 040.02.03.03.14: Describe the problems associated with Type 2 (mostly adult) diabetes: risk factors; insulin resistance; complications (vascular, neurological) and the consequences for the medical licence; pilots are not protected from Type 2 diabetes more than other people.


This question requires more feedback to be able to pinpoint the answer the examiners have chosen. It is entirely possible that some of the options are different from the actual exam question, or that different authorities are using slightly different questions with different answers. Let's go through each possible option:

A) "Controlling one’s diet and regular exercise are the most effective treatments, as the type of diabetes cannot be treated with insulin."

In reality, type II diabetes can be managed through various methods, including lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as medication. While controlling diet and exercise are indeed important components of managing type 2 diabetes and can sometimes be sufficient to control blood sugar levels, many individuals with type II diabetes may also require insulin therapy to effectively manage their condition. Insulin therapy is commonly used when other treatments are not sufficient to control blood sugar levels or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin on its own.

B) "Risk factors include low blood pressure, increasing age, obesity, a diet rich in simple carbohydrates, and a lack of physical exercise"

Low blood pressure is incorrect. A diet rich in simple carbohydrates is often associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while a diet that emphasises complex carbohydrates can help to manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing the condition.

C) "A pilot diagnosed with this type of diabetes must be considered unfit, for class 1 medical certification."

This is not technically true, as the regulations state below that a pilot would usually be assessed as unfit with this condition, but if they are not taking insulin for it, and can demonstrate that blood sugar control has been achieved and is stable, they may be able to gain the medical. There has been potentially ambiguous feedback that this answer could be correct, but given the law stated below, we believe it is not correct.

D) "It is usually diagnosed in adulthood, and a typical symptom is unexplained weight loss."

This answer may be correct. Whether it is a typical symptom or not is difficult to say, we are not doctors, but it is a symptom. Symptoms are not mentioned in the learning objectives, but this does not make it incorrect. Usually diagnosed in adulthood is absolutely correct. Unfortunately, we currently have no feedback on this answer.


EASA AIR CREW
MED.B.025 Metabolic and Endocrine Systems

(a) Applicants with metabolic, nutritional or endocrine dysfunction may be assessed as fit subject to demonstrated stability of the medical condition and satisfactory aero-medical evaluation.

(b) Diabetes mellitus

(1) Applicants with diabetes mellitus requiring insulin shall be assessed as unfit.
(2) Applicants with diabetes mellitus not requiring insulin shall be assessed as unfit unless it can be demonstrated that blood sugar control has been achieved and is stable.

(c) Aero-medical assessment

(1) Applicants for a class 1 medical certificate requiring medication other than insulin for blood sugar control shall be referred to the medical assessor of the licensing authority.
(2) The fitness of applicants for a class 2 medical certificate requiring medication other than insulin for blood sugar control shall be assessed in consultation with the medical assessor of the licensing authority.


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