According to federal statistics, an estimated 18.2 million adults in the United States - 6.3 percent of the population – have diabetes. Just 800,000 of those have type 1 diabetes; the vast majority have type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, it's estimated that over 5 million people have type 2 diabetes, but don't know it, and aren't getting the treatment they need.
Many people with diabetes don't have any symptoms at all. Others may have one or more of these common symptoms:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet
The good news? With early detection and treatment, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications. Talk to your doctor about the ABCs of diabetes today, and see what you can do to reduce or manage your risk:
A for the A1C test.
The A1C Test shows you what your blood glucose has been over the last three months. High blood glucose levels can harm your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
B for blood pressure.
Ask your doctor what your blood pressure goal should be, and then monitor it regularly. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard, and can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
C for cholesterol.
Ask what your cholesterol numbers should be. LDL or "bad" cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or a stroke. HDL or "good" cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels.
If you have a primary care physician (PCP), he or she is probably conducting these routine screenings. If you don't have a PCP, find one today and learn more about screening for diabetes today.
This article first appeared in the November 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.