What's something that's becoming as American as apple pie and baseball? Unfortunately, the answer is diabetes. 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes and another one in three has pre-diabetes. The good news is there's a lot you can do to beat this disease at its own game. CHI Health is here to tell you what you should know on Diabetes: Uncovered.
Hi, I'm Dr. Carlos Prendes a family medicine doctor at CHI Health. I treat people with diabetes every day, so I have seen first-hand that it's on the rise over the last 20 years. The number of adults diagnosed has tripled and it's not something we can ignore.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and that's because complications strike every part of the body. The heart which is the number one killer. Plus, nerves, kidneys, eyes, feet, skin, hearing and more. What's at play is a hormone called insulin it’s made in the pancreas and turns blood sugar or glucose into energy for every cell in our bodies.
What’s Difference Between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 is when people don’t produce enough insulin starting at a young age. It’s important to note that this type of diabetes accounts for 5 percent of all diabetics.
Type 2 is when your body doesn’t utilize insulin and glucose effectively or ultimately will end up not making enough insulin. As a more common type of diabetes, it’s important to know that this can happen at any age.
What Can Happen if Diabetes is Not Treated?
Without proper insulin levels your blood sugar levels can soar and damage cells throughout the body this happens without warning which is why it can be called a silent killer. One in four people with diabetes don't even know they have it.
So, pay attention to these warning signs:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Slow healing cuts and bruises
- Increased truncal obesity which means a bigger belt
- Weight loss despite eating more
- Tingling pain or numbness in your hands or feet
What Does Diabetes Treatment Look Like?
Diagnosing it requires a blood test and you may be asked to fast beforehand. Treatment includes insulin and or non-insulin medications combined with diet and exercise. If a test shows you have pre-diabetes that means you're on deck. In other words, your blood sugar levels indicate that you are at risk of developing type 2.
Please, remember one in three adults in the U.S. find them in this position. To stay safe from diabetes, start now by losing weight, being more active, and eating a healthy diet with lower calorie, less sugar and fewer carbs.
For further help on education of diabetes, look to your healthcare provider. We’re on your team. I'm Doctor Carlos Prendes, be sure to check back for more from CHI Health: Uncovered!
If you think you may be at risk for developing diabetes, take our risk assessment.