You Might Have Diabetes Without Realizing It

Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, and over a million new people are diagnosed with it every year. While that number may be shocking, what may be even more shocking is that around 30 percent of adult Americans have diabetes and don't even know it. Considering that it can be a life-threatening disease, it is definitely worth it to figure out if you're one of them.

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Doctors can easily check if a person has diabetes with a blood test. The problem is, not everyone goes to the doctor regularly, nor expresses concerns that would lead to having the test done.

There are two main types of diabetes, all having to do with the body not producing enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes is likely an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin, creating permanent damage. It is thought to be genetic. Type 2 diabetes is your body resisting insulin, leading to a reduction in insulin production, which then causes high blood sugar. It can have genetic causes, but may also be caused by lack of exercise and being overweight.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Early symptoms of diabetes include being hungry and tired when you shouldn't be, urinating more often and feeling very thirsty, blurry vision, itchiness, and dry mouth.

Later symptoms occur when the glucose in your body has been high for a prolonged period. These symptoms include yeast infections in women, slow healing cuts and wounds, and numbness and/or pain in the legs and feet. Unusual weight loss, feeling naseated, and vomiting are other potential symptoms as well.

DIABETES IS TREATABLE

While there is no cure for diabetes, it is easily treatable. That being said, if it goes untreated, it can be dangerous, or even fatal.

Type 1 diabetes can be controlled with insulin treatments, a blood pressure drug called verapamil, and potentially even implantable devices. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through strict diets, specific exercises, and drugs to control your glucose levels. Diabetes can go into remission, meaning the body no longer shows signs of having diabetes, but that does not mean you no longer have it. This is more common for type 2 diabetes than type 1.