Could you have diabetes and not know it?

While the signs and symptoms of diabetes can sometimes present themselves early and clearly, more often than not, diabetes symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important to know your risk factors for developing diabetes and take action when something doesn’t seem right.

There are two different types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Both are chronic and affect the way your body regulates blood sugar.

Type 1 diabetes is often unexpected. Its sudden onset occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar. It typically affects children and young adults although some adults can develop Type 1 diabetes. If you have a family member with Type 1 diabetes you may be more at risk for developing Type 1 diabetes yourself.
With Type 2 diabetes, the body still makes insulin but not enough, and it can’t use the insulin well, leading to high blood sugar levels. It typically affects adults, but children can also be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight along with having high blood pressure and high cholesterol, not exercising regularly, having a family member with Type 2 diabetes or being diagnosed with prediabetes or gestational diabetes in your past increases your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Excessive thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Hunger, even though you are eating
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Tired, loss of energy
  • Recurrent infections
  • Wounds or cuts that don’t heal
  • Dry skin
  • Tingling in your feet and hands

If you or a family member are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor today.  A simple blood test can determine if you have too much sugar in your blood. Early detection and treatment are important in the management of diabetes. With the help of your doctor, a diabetes educator and dietitian, you can control this disease and live a long and healthy life.

For more information about diabetes or to receive diabetes education, contact the Diabetes Education and Resource Center at Mobile Infirmary Hospital at 251-435-2785 or The Diabetes Center at Thomas Hospital at 251-279-1702.