Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of the symptoms of diabetes seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

What is diabetes? What causes diabetes?

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood - it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.

When our food is digested the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. Our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present - insulin makes it possible for our cells to take in the glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, and lowers the blood sugar level.

A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin, produces no insulin, or has cells that do not respond properly to the insulin the pancreas produces. This results in too much glucose building up in the blood. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements.


Type 1 Diabetes*

•Frequent urination

•Unusual thirst

•Extreme hunger

•Unusual weight loss

•Extreme fatigue and Irritability

In type 1 diabetes (previously known as juvenile diabetes), the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5-10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.

Type 2 Diabetes*

•Any of the type 1 symptoms

•Frequent infections

•Blurred vision

•Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

•Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet

•Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

(*Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms of diabetes)

If you have one or more of these symptoms of diabetes, see your doctor right away. It's not easy to hear you have the symptoms of diabetes. For millions of Americans, learning about their diabetes is the first step toward feeling better and living a longer, healthier life. Here's what you need to get started on the path toward improved health and wellbeing.

Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family, especially when a child is diagnosed. Whether you're a parent, sibling or other family member, your support and understanding of the symptoms of diabetes can make all the difference.

Who is at Greater Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

•People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)

•People over age 45

•People with a family history of diabetes

•People who are overweight

•People who do not exercise regularly

•People with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure

•Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)

•Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth.


Is Diabetes Preventable?

For many people the disease is completely preventable through proper nutrition and physical fitness. There will always be some individuals who, for genetic reasons, will be at greater risk for the disease than others, but again, for many this disease is entirely preventable.

You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. Change your diet, increase your level of physical activity, maintain a healthy weight...with these positive steps, you can stay healthier longer and reduce your risk of diabetes. To learn more about the first signs of diabetes check out this site.

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symptoms of diabetes