The number of individuals with high blood sugar—or diabetes—has nearly doubled in the past 20 years and the CDC projects that one in three adults could have diabetes by 2050. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form and occurs when your body does not use insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) properly.
According to Michelle Kennedy, RN, a certified diabetes educator at Maury Regional Medical Center, many individuals who have type 2 diabetes have not been diagnosed. Here are four things you should know:
Pre-diabetic versus diabetic
Those with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 are considered pre-diabetic and those 126 or higher are considered diabetic. The most accurate blood sugar readings are taken after fasting (no food for 8-10 hours) so it is best to measure after a night’s sleep.
You may have high blood sugar and not even be aware. Often the signs are dismissed as being caused by other factors and may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger and lack of energy. If you experience these symptoms, tell your doctor and begin keeping a daily log of your blood sugar level to share with your provider.
Diabetes damages your body
Because diabetes is common, we often don’t take this disease seriously. It is important to know that uncontrolled diabetes causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, which may lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, impaired eye site, nerve damage and wounds that do not heal.
Type 2 diabetes is manageable
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are able to manage this condition with proper diet, exercise and medication. The sooner you seek treatment, you will minimize the effects of diabetes on your vascular and nervous systems. Talk to your doctor or a certified diabetes educator about a personalized plan to manage your diabetes.
“Diabetes is a silent killer that slowly damages the systems of your body,” said Kennedy. “Be aware of the signs and seek treatment from a medical professional who can help you learn how to manage this disease and improve your quality of life.”
To learn more about diabetes, management classes and education groups, click here or call 931.540.4324.