Of the 25.8 million people in the United States who are living with diabetes, 7 million do not know they have the disease.
The food you eat turns into glucose, or sugar, which your blood then carries to other parts of the body. Your body depends on glucose for energy, but when you have diabetes, your body has trouble turning glucose into energy. Instead of being used by your body, sugar builds up in your blood, leaving the rest of your body starved of energy. Over time, if it’s not controlled, diabetes can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and blindness. And while diabetes can be controlled, it cannot be cured.
Another 79 million people in our country have a condition called pre diabetes, which means their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes.
If you have pre diabetes, you are at risk for serious health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Many risk factors contribute to diabetes. Some you cannot control such as your family history, age, ethnicity or a history of diabetes during pregnancy. You can control other factors to lower your risk, such as getting more exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight.
Some people with diabetes show symptoms while others do not. Be sure to keep an eye out for the following symptoms and contact your physician with any concerns:
- Being very thirsty or very hungry
- Feeling tired for no reason
- Going to the bathroom more than usual
- Losing weight for no reason
- Having cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
- Having trouble seeing (blurry vision)
- Losing feeling or having tingling in your hands or feet
Take a free diabetes risk assessment and talk to your physician about any concerns you may have regarding your health potential diabetes risk.
To learn more about classes and services offered by the Norton Healthcare Diabetes Education Program, call (502) 629-2604.