It’s hard to believe that more than 100 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and approximately 1.25 million American children have Type 1 diabetes.
What is diabetes? A healthy person’s immune system helps the body resist infections. It knows how to discriminate between what is good for the body and what is bad. The immune system even remembers infections it has resisted in the past so it can fight them more effectively a second time around. When a person becomes diabetic, their immune system turns against them and destroys insulin-producing cells. This leads to high blood glucose levels that can increase risks of heart disease and other serious illnesses. Type 2 diabetes sufferers can control their diabetes with diet and exercise, however, Type 1 diabetes sufferers need to take insulin shots.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:
Excessive thirst, hunger (even though you are eating), sweating, fatigue; also common is blurred vision, fast heart rate, headaches, sleepiness and possible weight loss
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:
The same as Type 1 diabetes with weight gain or weight loss; also common is poor wound healing
The way to find out if you are prediabetic or diabetic is to consult your medical doctor. Your doctor can perform one of three different blood tests — the fasting plasma glucose test, the oral glucose tolerance test, or the hemoglobin A1c test to see what your levels are.
Living with diabetes is very controllable, but avoiding being tested and seeking the correct treatment can result in a lot of complications that can nearly affect every organ in your body.
With November being the awareness month for diabetes, are you living with diabetes or know someone who is and would like to share your experience? We welcome your comments.
Sources: American Diabetes Association; everydayhealth.com