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American Diabetes Month
People often ask, “Why should we care about diabetes?”, because it is the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness, and amputation, yet nearly 25% of people who have diabetes don’t even know it. Chances are you, or someone you love, or know has been affected by diabetes in some way or another. Even if you haven’t been, you need to know that diabetes is the biggest public health crisis in the 21st century. Diabetes continues to grow to epidemic proportions. It is reported that nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States alone have this disease. As the years pass, the death rate for this disease has continued to grow since 1987. However, the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined.
Having diabetes places a person at an increased risk for a number of serious, even life threatening complications, including but not limited to: heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. By remembering your “ABC’s” you can help prevent or delay the onset of these serious complications.
- Average Glucose - People with diabetes should get an estimated average glucose (eAG) or an A1C test every 6 months. These tests measure how well the diabetes is being managed. It is important to keep eAG less than 154mgldl or A1C less than 7%.
- Blood Pressure - People with diabetes should have a target blood pressure of less than 130/80mmttg.
- Cholesterol - LDL (bad) cholesterol should be below 100mg/dl. HDL (good) cholesterol should be above 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl for women, with triglycerides being below 150mg/dl.
Some of the most common early warning signs of diabetes are:
- Excessive thurst that is not related to exercise, hot weather, or short term illness.
- Excessive hunger even though you have eaten.
- Frequent urination noticed by waking up several times during the night.
- Severe fatigue, possibly causing you to fall asleep unexpectedly after meals.
- Sudden weight loss that is rapid not caused by sickness or diet. (Any dramatic weight change in weight is a reason to visit you doctor)
If any of these symptoms are constant for any extended period of time, you should see a doctor.
A simple blood test can answer many question and rule out diabetes. The sooner a diagnosis can be made, the sooner you and your doctor can get you on the right path to controlling your blood sugar. Having your blood sugar under control will help prevent more serious problems caused by diabetes.
Just because you may not have any of the more noted symptoms, there are also more “minor” symptoms for diabetes that go unrecognized and can potentially cause physical and neurological problems. There symptoms are: blurry vision, numbness, slow healing wounds, recurrent yeast infections, and dry skin.
If you notice any of these symptoms that have been mentioned on a regular basis about yourself or anyone one you know, it is important to see a doctor. Our providers are here for you seven days a week 365 days a year. So there is no reason to put off seeing the doctor till tomorrow, call or come by today!