In a recent report, the CDC estimates that over 30 million Americans (nearly 10% of the entire population) are struggling with diabetes. Additionally, over 84 million people have pre-diabetes, a condition that if left untreated leads to type II diabetes. To help you understand diabetes better, here are some frequently asked questions:
What is pre-diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association, a person with pre-diabetes has higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be classified as diabetic. Patients with pre-diabetes can avoid type II diabetes by eating better, exercising more, losing excess weight, etc.
What causes type II diabetes?
Type II diabetes is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for keeping blood glucose at an acceptable level. The exact causes remain unknown, but contributing factors include genetics and lifestyle choices. Overweight people that aren’t very active are at higher risk.
What causes type I diabetes?
Type I diabetes develops when the immune system—normally responsible for fighting harmful bacteria—mistakes insulin-producing cells for viruses and destroys them. As a result, the body does not produce any insulin. The exact causes are unknown, but genetics and exposure to certain environmental factors have been cited as possible triggers.
Common symptoms of diabetes?
Pre-diabetes has no visible symptoms. Most people only find out they have the condition when they get tested for diabetes.
Conversely, type I and II diabetes have similar symptoms. They include fatigue, extreme hunger and thirst, weight loss, irritability and mood swings, blurry vision, slow-healing injuries, and frequent infections. In type II, the symptoms are so gradual that they may not be noticed. In type I, however, the symptoms appear suddenly and cannot be missed.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, visit a healthcare facility and get tested immediately. Residents of Texas can get tested (and receive primary care for diabetes) at the Internal Medicine Diagnostic Center in Magnolia. Call 281-252-8600 now to make an appointment.