From Our Team
Do I or will I have diabetes?
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Dr. Michael Kelly
I’ve seen it in restaurants, homes, sporting events, meetings, in cars, and other places. People who keep going back for another glass of water or juice, looking tired all the time or taking naps, complaining of blurry vision when driving, and seemingly always hungry. These are all symptoms of diabetes and should not be ignored.
Many people have either diabetes or prediabetes. While the exact number is not known, perhaps fifteen percent or more of adults have diabetes and more than one-third of the U.S. adult population is at risk for prediabetes. Prediabetes, like diabetes, is more common in older people, but young people can have it too.
The symptoms of diabetes can be subtle. Here are a few:
- Excessive hunger
- Fatigue – you may want to take more naps or go to bed early
- Being thirstier than usual and then peeing more frequently
- Dry mouth or itchy skin
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
If you have any of the above symptoms seek medical attention. Let your doctor know if you have a family history of diabetes. People who have parents with diabetes are at higher risk themselves. A test for diabetes at a doctor’s office is not that expensive and is covered by most insurance. Diabetes treatments can be very effective as there are a variety of lifestyle changes and medications that can be employed to control blood sugar.
Prediabetes is a little trickier to detect than diabetes itself. To find out more about prediabetes, visit www.DoIHavePrediabetes.org to take a simple risk assessment.
Prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are on the road to develop type 2 diabetes and are also at increased risk for serious health problems such as stroke and heart disease.
If you do have prediabetes, it doesn’t mean you will have diabetes. There are some lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce the risk. Losing weight, increasing exercise, eating healthier, and quitting smoking top the list of changes. Medical providers may prescribe medication.
So be on the lookout for family members who are asking for many drink refills or complaining of not being able to read street signs while driving. Watch for those loved ones who are taking many naps and seem tired even after a full nights rest. These can be symptoms of diabetes, especially if accompanied by hunger and weight gain. Your best course of action is to visit a medical provider for an affordable and easy test. If the test comes-up negative, great. But, if you or a family member do have diabetes or prediabetes, it is better to be diagnosed and take control of the disease sooner than later.
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