Know the signs of diabetes to get help you need
November 17, 2021
HSHS St. Francis Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group are educating the community about diabetes prevention and management during National Diabetes Awareness Month observed each year in response to growing concerns about the rise of diabetes around the world.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 463 million adults throughout the world currently have diabetes. That equates to one in 11 people living with the disease. Most cases of diabetes are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly and can be subtle. Many people with the disease have no symptoms. Your primary physician may test you for it if you're at risk, even if you don't have symptoms. You can additionally help yourself by knowing the signs so you can watch for even small changes in these areas.
Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of the disease. The IDF estimates one in two people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. Symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed, but they include:
• Frequent urination
• Feeling thirsty
• Feeling hungry, even when eating
• Extreme fatigue
• Blurry vision
• Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
• Weight loss
• Tingling, pain or numbness in hands and feet
Because these symptoms could be caused by a number of things, talk with your doctor if any of these symptoms persist for you. He/she can evaluate your risk and complete bloodwork which can diagnose diabetes. You can also take a one-minute Diabetes Risk Test through the American Diabetes Association to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The risk test can be found at diabetes.org/risk-test.
The good news is – you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Even if you have prediabetes, there are many factors you can control, such as diet and physical activity. Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. Seeing a dietitian and diabetes educator early on can help prevent diabetes and complications from uncontrolled diabetes.