Diabetes cases in the United States have been steadily rising over the past few years. Diabetes is considered a “disease of civilization” because many of the risk factors for it are associated with excess including obesity, eating too many sugary foods, and poor levels of exercise.
Catching the disease early, before any permanent damage has occurred, is absolutely crucial. Luckily, many of the risk factors are simple and easy to detect. If you have a family history of the disease or exhibit any of the following symptoms or behaviors, consult a doctor immediately to be tested.
Being just fifteen pounds overweight can significantly increase your risk of Diabetes. Even overweight kids have been developing Type II Diabetes at an alarming rate. The good news is that losing just 8% of your body weight can decrease your risk.
If you are overweight, see a doctor and get tested. It is likely that they will check your blood glucose levels. If they are suspiciously high, you may have Type I or Type II diabetes. The diagnosis will more often than not depend on your age and the symptoms.
Frequent Restroom Trips
If you are frequently making trips to the bathroom, or constantly thirsty and drinking lots of water, you may have Diabetes. When your body does not produce enough insulin, glucose will tend to build up in your bloodstream and require constant excretion via urine. This may in turn dehydrate you, causing you to have an almost unquenchable thirst. If this sounds right, check with your doctor. You could have Type I or Type II diabetes.
Blurry Vision or Dark Ring Around your Neck
When you have Diabetes, unusually high blood sugar levels cause glucose to accumulate in your eyes (specifically, the lens of your eye), which will cause blurry vision. This can mean Type I or Type II Diabetes.
In Type II Diabetes, your body produces too much insulin, which causes receptors in your skin to produce extra pigment.
If you are miraculously losing weight and cannot figure out why, stop rejoicing for a minute and visit a doctor. When the body loses the ability to make insulin, glucose often cannot be used as an energy source and fat begins to break down on its own.
Frequent Yeast Infections
If you are a woman and have been experiencing unusually frequent yeast infections, it may be a sign of Diabetes. Both Type I and Type II Diabetes cause a glucose buildup in the body which can foster the growth of yeast. Symptoms include vaginal discharge and itch. Children may instead get a diaper rash, so be vigilant.
The risk of Diabetes is directly correlated with your age. The older you are, the more likely you are to have it. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting tested every three years after the age of 45. If you exhibit two or more of the symptoms listed above, you should be screened semi-regularly regardless of age. Instances of Diabetes are expected to skyrocket over the next decade, so be on the lookout.