November is American Diabetes Awareness Month, and a good time to review the indicators of diabetes. It’s important for 2 types of reasons.
First, over 30 million Americans have a form of diabetes — that’s over 9% of the population. Since symptoms can be easily overlooked, nearly 3 times as many Americans have prediabetic conditions and it’s estimated that nearly 25% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
Second, the long-term, sustained damage that diabetes can cause for patients is significant. Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) can lead to unconsciousness, seizures, and life-threatening conditions, and require constant supervision of blood glucose levels. Diabetic conditions can also create complications for eyes, skin, kidneys, digestive systems, nerves, and blood circulation in extremities, especially feet.
Here are the leading symptoms for diabetes —
- Constant sense of hunger or thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unusually high degree of fatigue
- Bruises and cuts that take an unusually long time to heal
- Tingling or numbness in your feet or hands
- Episodes of blurry vision
Fortunately your family physician or health care facility, like those at Central Carolina Hospital, can provide testing and make a diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan.
The American Diabetes Association has a lot of valuable information and even a 1-minute test you can take, that can provide an early indication of how likely you may be to have diabetes or a prediabetic condition. Take the diabetes test here, and then contact your health care provider to discuss the outcome.