It’s a growing popular club that no one wants to be a part of. Unfortunately, many patients have little choice in the matter. Diabetes can strike any one of us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and more than a quarter of them are undiagnosed. Are you, or someone you know, one of them? The signs of diabetes are there, but one can easily miss them, and that can be dangerous.
For Diabetes Awareness Month, the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network want to shed some light on this chronic disease, with this important guide: Five Signs You May Have Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes vs. Type 2 Diabetes
Being a diabetic means you have too much sugar in your blood, also called high blood glucose. There are mainly two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1, also called “juvenile” diabetes which is more severe, and the pancreas produces little or no insulin. While it usually develops in children and teenagers, it can develop at any age. With this type, you must take injections to replace the insulin your body doesn’t produce. You must also monitor your blood glucose levels, every day. There is no cure.
Type 2, the most common, is also referred to as “adult onset” diabetes. The CDC says 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases are Type 2, and that being over the age of 45 increases your risk of developing Type 2. But it also reports diabetes is hitting more children, teens, and young adults. Perhaps your doctor has told you that you have “prediabetes.” This term means that your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be Type 2 diabetes, but left untreated, it can become Type 2. There’s also gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, with no symptoms.
Don’t Miss Any Symptoms or the Five Signs of Diabetes
If you’ve never been tested, how do you know that you have diabetes? There are many signs and symptoms. But according to the American Diabetes Association, patients can exhibit these common symptoms – hence Five Signs You May Have Diabetes.
Sign #1: Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is often a significant sign of diabetes because having extra sugar in your blood sends you to the bathroom more often.
Sign #2: Severe Thirst or a Dry Mouth
Thirst can be a sign of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.
Sign #3: Unexpected Weight Loss
Because people with Type 2 diabetes don’t get enough glucose, they may lose weight, without trying.
Sign #4: Blurry Vision
Blurred vision, an early warning sign, is connected to rapid changes in blood sugar.
Sign #5: Tingling, Pain, or Numbness in the Hands or Feet (Type 2)
Exposure to high blood sugar over an extended period can lead to nerve damage.
Look Out for Other Symptoms or Signs of Diabetes
Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, irritability, cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, increased appetite, headaches, and yeast infections.
Don’t Rule Out the Risk Factors for Diabetes
There are other factors to consider, that put you at a higher risk for diabetes, such as your family history, your weight and lifestyle, your age (your changes increase with age), and your race. Certain races – black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian-Americans are at higher risk for diabetes.
Getting Diagnosed Early is Crucial
Type 1 develops quickly, even in a few weeks, and left untreated could lead to a coma, even death, while Type 2 can go on for a long time without you noticing anything unusual. The sooner you get treatment, the better. With the correct medication and the right lifestyle changes, you can manage your diabetes.
Visit an UrgentMed for Screening for Diabetes
A simple blood test can determine if you’re diabetic or prediabetic. We do all kinds of diagnostic testing here at UrgentMED, including glucose screening tests, for pregnant women. Our on-site laboratory makes it convenient to get blood tests and quick blood test results. We’re located right near you. With 15 locations, UrgentMED is the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California. We look forward to helping you stay on a healthy track.