About one of every 11 people in the United States has diabetes. They have a higher risk of other serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and even loss of limbs. Adults with diabetes have a risk of death 50 percent higher than adults who do not have diabetes. Plus, medical expenses for a person with diabetes are twice as high as for people without diabetes. For all these reasons and more, prevention and proper management is more important than ever.
Research shows moderate weight loss and can prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes for adults with a high risk.
And early detection and treatment can help those with diabetes avoid complications, but about one in four people living with diabetes have not been diagnosed.
Who should be tested for diabetes?
Anyone older than 45 should consider testing for diabetes, especially if you are overweight. If you are younger than 45 and are overweight, have other risk factors or show one of the symptoms listed below, consider testing.
About 5 percent of people with diabetes have Type I Diabetes, which typically affects children and young adults. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce the insulin needed to convert glucose from foods into energy.
Type 1 symptoms include
• Frequent urination
• Unusual thrist
• Extreme hunger
• Unusual weight loss
• Extreme fatigue and irritability
With Type 2 Diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or does not use insulin properly. Without insulin to transfer glucose to cells, the glucose builds up in your blood. High blood glucose levels lead to health complications. People with Type 2 Diabetes don’t always show symptoms.
Type 2 symptoms include
• Any of the Type 1 symptoms
• Frequent infections
• Blurred vision
• Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
• Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
Type 2 Diabetes risk factors (from CDC)
Being overweight or obese is the leading risk factor. Other risk factors include:
• Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
• Being African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Hispanic American
• Having a history of gestational diabetes or the birth of a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
• Having blood pressure of 140/90 or higher
• Having cholesterol with HDL level of 35 or lower or a triglyceride level of 250 or higher
• Exercising fewer than three times per week
The Lincoln Trail District Health Department supports a number of programs and events that can help you manage your risk factors, such as weight. Additionally, our staff includes a certified diabetes educator who can provide counseling to assist in diabetes management.