Are You At Risk For Developing Diabetes?
Diabetes impacts 25.8 million people living in the USA right now. This number is only set to grow, every year 1.9 million new people are diagnosed with diabetes. If diabetes continues to expand at this same rate, by 2050 1 in every 2 adults will suffer from diabetes. Already, over 8% of the population has diabetes, the majority of which includes seniors (CDC Fact Sheet).
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires proper care and planning or else it can interfere with your quality of life. If you are diagnosed with diabetes it means you have high sugar levels present within your blood. Diabetes represents a wide variety of other health issues that are all related and can lead to larger health risks, including death. Your pancreas, when working correctly, absorbs glucose (sugar throughout your blood) and turns it into energy. With diabetes, the pancreas is not able to break down the glucose, meaning your body does not make enough insulin, and high levels of glucose begin to develop in your blood. Diabetes causes the cells in your body to literally starve as they search for energy but turn up empty, despite the large amount of glucose actually present in your blood. This build up of glucose is damaging to nerves and blood vessels, and can cause many other health complications to arise (more information).
The Difference Between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
The differences are often questioned and unclear, but for the most part type 1 diabetes develops at an early age, usually before 20. Once known as juvenile onset diabetes, the American Diabetes Association has since removed this term because you can develop type 1 diabetes at any age. Type 1 diabetes is usually attributed to genetics, although other contributing factors are currently being researched (Research). Type 1 diabetes accounts for 10-15% of all people with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common, including over 80% of all diabetic patients. Type 2 diabetes is usually developed due to diet and lifestyle, being overweight and inactive makes you more susceptible to developing diabetes. It takes a while but unhealthy habits do eventually catch up, catching most off guard with a diabetes diagnoses when they are 35-years or older. Living a typical American lifestyle with a lot of sitting and high sodium, sugary foods, can easily produce type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can be scary because it increases your risk for heart disease if you do not treat your associated high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. When all of these levels read unhealthy you are at a real risk for heart attack, kidney disease, or stroke. To prevent your diabetes from worsening, you need an early diagnoses and an effective treatment plan.
Symptoms Associated With Diabetes
Early prevention is adamant to avoid the associated health risks of diabetes. It’s not uncommon for diabetes to go unnoticed, but there are a number of signs that indicate diabetes.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with diabetes include:
- Constant thirst and hunger, even when you feel you should be satisfied.
- Frequent urination
- Feeling very fatigued often and for no reason
- Wounds are slow to heal
- Vision is blurred
- Hands and feet go numb, tingle, or ache.
Common Complications Associated With Diabetes
The problem isn’t always diabetes itself but the conditions that can domino as a result of being diabetic.
The most common complications associated with diabetic patients include:
- Skin infections and disorders
- Eye Problems such as glucose and cataracts
- Nerve Damage, nearly half of all people diagnosed with diabetes have some nerve damage.
- Stroke, a build up of glucose can cause blood clots that lead to stroke
- HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome) most commonly impacts elderly patients with diabetes and typically develops after another illness or infection. HHNS causes severe dehydration as your body continually passes salts through your urine. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated if this occurs. Sever dehydration caused by HHNS can lead to coma, seizures, and even death.
Urgent Medical Center Can Help
We recommend getting your cholesterol levels checked annually to ensure there are no red flags indicating diabetes. At Urgent Medical Center we provide proactive treatment plans and diagnoses so that, with or without diabetes, you can live a long and healthy life!