Detecting Signs of Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health problems in our country, with some 29.1 million Americans -- or 9.3 percent of the population -- battling the condition.
Here's an even scarier statistic: Three in ten Americans with diabetes don't even know that have it. That's not good.
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. It can be caused by genetics, innate conditions, obesity, physical inactivity and other factors.
When recognized and properly addressed, diabetes is manageable and those afflicted can lead a relatively normal life. However, the risks of untreated diabetes are very dangerous, and can include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye problems, skin conditions and more.
Here are a few common signs of diabetes. If you experience any of these symptoms -- especially if your genetics or lifestyle predispose you to high blood glucose -- you should make sure to get in and get checked out.
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Rapid weight loss
- Tingling or numbmness in extremities
- Blurred vision
- Increased hunger
Obviously some of these are more worrisome than others, and many can be tied to other causes. Sometimes increased hunger and fatigue are just the result of a bad night's sleep. But some of the symptoms, especially frequent urination, excessive thirst and feelings of numbness or tingling, are warning signs that should get you into your physician's office.
A simple blood glucose test, in which blood is drawn and sent into a lab for analysis, is all it takes to determine whether you have diabetes. If you catch it, you'll be glad you did.