Diabetes is an insulin-related disease that affects close to 21 million people in the United States. This serious condition is characterized by the bodys inability to produce enough or utilize existing insulin. It is the hormone, insulin that is responsible for flushing out glucose from the cells in the body. When blood glucose levels rise, our health greatly suffers.
According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), about 14.6 million individuals in the US are diagnosed with the disease, while close to 6 million people are yet to be diagnosed. In a 2005 NDIC report, their results included totals regarding diabetes sufferers of all ages, since anyone from the elderly to a toddler may experience diabetes symptoms. Typically, Type 2 diabetes sufferers are commonly diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 50.
There are numerous signs that alert an individual that they may be suffering from diabetes. Common diabetes symptoms may occur in bulk or a patient may exhibit only a few. Whatever the case may be, when any of the following diabetes symptoms reveal themselves, patients should contact their physician.
Individuals should be on the lookout for: frequent urination, extreme hunger or thirst, blurred vision, sudden weight loss, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, fatigue, excessively dry skin, increase in infections and slow-healing wounds. Individuals exhibiting Type 1 diabetes symptoms include nausea, vomiting and / or stomach pains.
Different Types of Diabetes
If the symptoms that you experience turn out to be the disease, you will be diagnosed as either suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of diagnosed diabetes cases, where the immune system actually destroys the cells in the body that produce insulin. This type of diabetes may also be referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes. Most sufferers of the disease are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which involves the bodys resistance to insulin. Another type of diabetes exists, but only affects 2-5% of pregnant women. It is called gestational diabetes and has the potential to harm both mother and child when not treated.
When accompanied with steady exercise and proper medication, healthy eating habits can ease diabetes symptoms. Through a balanced diet, filled with a healthy combination of carbohydrates, protein and fats, proper nutrition can be used as a defense against the symptoms connected to diabetes. Acceptable food items include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, beans, 2% milk and lean meats. Fried foods and heavily sweetened foods should be avoided when diagnosed with diabetes.
Seeking Treatment is Important
When you suspect that you are exhibiting diabetes symptoms, an immediate visit to a doctor is needed. This is because, when diabetes is left untreated, a host of debilitating health problems soon follows. Since foot problems tend to affect diabetes patients, there are many concerns in this area, including infection, amputation and gangrene. Eye problems are also common among diabetes sufferers. When left untreated, blindness may occur. Additional health issues associated with untreated diabetes symptoms include heart disease and kidney failure. The disease is so serious that it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.