As of January 2011 the American Diabetes Association predicts 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes; however 7 million of those do not know they have diabetes. And an additional 79 million have pre-diabetes; without lifestyle changes, pre-diabetes often progresses to diabetes.
Diabetes is a medical condition where the body is unable to move glucose (often referred to as sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body that use glucose for energy, like the muscles and brain. There are several reasons glucose does not move from the blood to the cells. Diabetes is classified as Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes. Regardless of the type, diabetes causes abnormally high blood glucose levels and the symptoms and complications are similar.
The following is a list of symptoms associated with diabetes. If you have any of the following symptoms see your doctor as soon as possible. However people with diabetes often do not have any symptoms, which makes it important to have yearly check ups with your doctor to screen for diabetes. This is especially true if you have a risk factor for diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurry vision that changes daily
- Persistent feelings of fatigue or drowsiness
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Frequent or recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
- Unintentional weight loss
You may be at a higher risk for diabetes if any of the following are true:
- Over age 45
- Family history of diabetes
- Do not exercise regularly
- Have low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood pressure
- Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth
Reducing Your Risk
Diabetes can often be prevented or the onset delayed by adapting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes proper nutrition, daily moderate intensity exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Torrance Memorial offers a variety of programs to help individuals lead healthy lives with diabetes.