How to Spot Early Warning Signs of Diabetes
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime if trends continue. Many people don’t even know they have it until they are suffering from complications of it. Here is what you should watch out for!
Signs and Symptoms
Iowa Diabetes is committed to help adults with diabetes manage their health. It’s important to remember, that successful diabetes management begins with recognizing symptoms and making an early diagnosis. Spotting an illness is not as easy as it sounds. For many Americans, diabetes goes unchecked or unrecognized for a long time. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 7.3 million people in the United States live with undiagnosed diabetes. Early symptoms like fatigue and thirst are easily ignored because they seem harmless enough. The Mayo Clinic offers a helpful list of potential diabetes symptoms to look for:
- Excessive thirst and increased urination
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Tingling hands and feet
Although some symptoms might seem harmless or unrelated to diabetes, they can actually be a direct result of your body’s inability to process sugar properly. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Iowa Diabetes own Dr. Anuj Bhargava is a strong supporter of early screening for diabetes. In his experience, Dr. Bhargava once had a relatively young patient who was hospitalized for a heart attack, only to be diagnosed with diabetes soon after. “A heart attack doesn’t have to be the first symptom of diabetes,” says Dr. Bhargava. “If [he] had been screened regularly, then it would be a different story.” The earlier a diagnosis can be made, the earlier a person can take steps to manage their diabetes and live healthy lives. Often times, this also includes avoiding a potentially dangerous complication like a heart attack. Then the important question is, “Who should be screened?” The ADA has some useful guidelines that apply to people who:
- Are overweight
- Age 45 and older
- Have family history of diabetes
- Exhibit other risk factors like high blood pressure
As you can see, identifying diabetes is an important first step on the path to diabetes management and healthier living. In fact, the CDC suggest that early detection of diabetes can save lives and reduce medical expenses. Once diabetes has been diagnosed, it’s possible to make plans for health management and medication. Our Iowa Diabetes Portal offers a comprehensive “home base” to record, organize and track your personal health information — all for free! It’s all part of our effort to make diabetes management simple and straightforward. To get started on the path to healthy living head over to our website.
Diabetes is on the rise. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of diabetes and who should be screened can help you or someone you know be diagnosed early. We are here to provide and easy way to manage your diabetes if you are ever diagnosed.
Disclaimer Statement: This is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, contact your healthcare practitioner.