to the American Diabetes Association, the United States is
home to over 20 million children and adults with diabetes.
They estimate that about a third of them are unaware that
they even have the disease. That's over 6 million
undiagnosed cases of diabetes.
with diagnosing diabetes is that the symptoms often begin
gradually. People with type 2 diabetes average four to seven
years before they are diagnosed. Sometimes a doctor can make
a diagnosis based on complications from diabetes rather than
the diabetes symptoms themselves. For example, vision
changes, sores that won't heal, heart disease and numbness
in the feet and legs often prompt a doctor to suspect
a condition where insulin is not produced (or insulin is not
recognized by the cells) and the body is unable to break
down the glucose in the blood properly. The body's
response to excess glucose in the blood is to get rid of it
through urination. Frequent urination with large volumes of
urine is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes along with
excessive thirst, hunger and weight loss. Despite an
increased intake of water, dehydration can also occur.
glucose builds up in the blood, the cells can become starved
for energy because instead of the glucose traveling to the
cells, they remain in the blood. Starving cells translates
into a fatigued body as well as a hungry body.
increased appetite, weight loss occurs because the cells are
not receiving the nutrition they require and the glucose,
along with its calories, is being washed away with the urine
rather than being absorbed by the body.
of diabetes can include blurry vision, dry mouth, dry or
itchy skin, male impotence, vaginal yeast infections,
unexplained aches and pains, urinary tract infections, sores
that don't heal very well, excessive infections and
eyes, kidneys, nerves and the heart can become damaged due
to high glucose levels in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes tends to come on rapidly with the classic symptoms
of frequent urination, excessive thirst and fatigue while
type 2 diabetes comes on more slowly, often over a course of
years. This has prompted the medical community to recommend
routine testing for people over 45 years old.
assessments for diabetes can be found online to determine
the risk for getting diabetes. Factors that are considered
are age, weight, family members with diabetes and the birth
size of babies born to women.
symptoms are present or not, it doesn't hurt to pay a
yearly visit to the doctor.