More than 29 Million Americans Have Diabetes and Don’t Know It
Could you be one of them? The symptoms can be subtle or even absent. That’s why, as part of the American Diabetes Association Alert Day on March 28, you’re encouraged to take a short test to see if you’re at risk for diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
It’s a chronic disease that can compromise your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Normally, the food you eat is broken down into glucose. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body where it is used for energy.
In the most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to the effects of insulin. Since glucose is unable to enter the cells, the glucose level rises in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease and stroke, blindness, amputation and high blood pressure. More than 130 people will develop kidney failure in the next 24 hours because of diabetes.
Are You at Risk?
One in three adults is at risk of developing diabetes. Many factors may increase your risk, including:
- Inactivity/sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of diabetes
- Over the age of 45
- Hispanic, African-American, Asian or American Indian descent
- History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Although you can’t control many of these factors, losing weight or increasing your exercise can help lower your risk.
What Are the Symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Blurred vision
- Unexpected weight loss or abnormal weight fluctuation
- Unexplained fatigue
- Inflamed and tender gums
- Loss of sensation or tingling in your hands and feet
- More frequent infections
Are You One of the 8 Million With Diabetes?
Find out on March 28. Schedule an appointment with your Family Medicine doctor at Hudson Physicians and get checked. If you do have diabetes, we can provide tips to help support your health and minimize your risk of developing complications. If you don’t have diabetes, we can suggest lifestyle steps that can help you prevent the disease in the future. Wouldn’t it be better to know?