November Is National Diabetes Month
Vol. 2 No. 2
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Do you know your risks?
While the stereotype is that diabetes appears only in older people who weight more than recommended, in fact, this illness can affect anyone of any age or size. Take this oppurtunity to familiarize yourself with the warning signs and risks of Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2.
- Type 1 mostly affects younger people, and if caught early can be controlled without leading to serious health risks.
- Type 2 is the most common form of the illness. It used to be thought that only people over the age of 45 could be affected, but recently children as young as 12 have been diagnosed.
- Type 2 tends to be a gradual onset. People are often not aware there is anything wrong with them, and can be suffering from elevated blood sugars for years before being diagnosed.
- People who are not physically active, are overweight, and who have a family history are at the most risk.
- If diabetes is left untreated it can lead to heart disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and, in extreme cases, amputation of limbs.
Signs of Diabetes
- Always being thirsty. If your body is pulling excess water from your blood stream, you’re more likely to become dehydrated and feel the need to drink excessively. You may also experience more frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Tingling or numbness in your hands, legs, or feet. This symptom is called neuropathy and occurs gradually over time as a result of elevated glucose levels in the blood stream. The elevated levels of glucose can cause nerve damage, resulting in tingling or numbness.
- Chronic tiredness. Insulin helps pull glucose from the food we eat and transition it to our body’s cells. When insulin stops working the way it should, our body’s cells become energy starved and we feel run down or chronically tired.
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain. As the body is trying to compensate for sugar and fluid loss weight gain or loss may result regardless of calorie intake. Fluctuations with weight (even if you’re excited to be losing a few pounds) can be serious and should not be ignored.
- Swollen and tender gums. Sores and/or lose teeth can be a sign of diabetes mellitus.
You can learn more about the warning signs of diabetes and National Diabetes Awareness Month by visiting the following sites: