Don’t Let Diabetes sneak up on you



You should take your medicine today to prevent any complications that may come five or 10 years later. These are what will really hurt you, not the diagnosis of diabetes. .

 

Type 2 diabetes often sneaks up on a person, going undiagnosed for months or even years, until complications appear.

By the time that happens, the individual’s health would have been compromised.

Studies show that about half of patients would already have diabetes-related complications when diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise at epidemic proportions.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are eight million people with undianosed diabetes. As many as two in 10 Americans with newly diagnosed diabetes would already have signs of small blood vessel deterioration, suggesting that they have been suffering from diabetes for eight to 11 years.

Long-term diabetes could also lead to the loss of sensation or nerve damage in the peripheral areas of the body , which could then lead to numbness, pain and a loss of balance.

A study here has shown that this particular complication of diabetes, also known as peripheral Neuropathy, is associated with the greatest reduction in patients’ quality of life.

There are 4 primary types of neuropathy :

  • Peripheral neuropathy – targeting the toes, feet, legs, hands and arms. This is the most common type of neuropathy and causes pain, tingling, or numbness in these extremities.
  • Autonomic neuropathy – causing changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual organs, heart, blood pressure, lungs, and perspiration.
  • Proximal neuropathy – resulting in pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and causes weakness in the legs and loss of balance.
  • Focal neuropathy – bringing on sudden weakness of one nerve or group of nerves including: eyes, face, ears, pelvis, lower back, chest, or any other location.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are wide and varied, but may include :

  • Tingling, pain or numbness—especially in the hands, feet, toes, legs, or arms
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder, resulting in frequent urinary tract infections
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Fainting or dizziness caused by low blood pressure upon standing
  • Problems achieving or maintaining an erection

While there are 400,000 people here with diabetes, it is not known how many more have undiagnoses diabetes.

Studies have not proven the effectiveness of mass testing for diabetes in people with no symtoms.
But the risk factors for diabetes are known, including being overweight, High blood pressure and high level of blood fat, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle and ageing.

The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if you are 45 years or older and overweight, or, if you are younger but overweight, and with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes (such as family history).

There are also steps you can take to prevent diabetes, including exercising more, eating more fibre and whole grains, and losing weight.

And to get yourself tested – earlier treatment means fewer complications down the road.

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Category: Managing Diabetes

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