Can Diabetes Be Prevented
Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented.
You may be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight, staying active, and following a healthy diet. However, genetics and other risk factors may increase your risk despite your best efforts.
If you have any risk factors for diabetes, its important to get regular checkups with your doctor or healthcare professional. This will help prevent diabetes from progressing and causing other serious health complications.
Diabetes: A Look At The Facts
Diabetes is a chronic disease occurring either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cant effectively use the insulin it naturally produces.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the bodys blood sugar. Raised blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and in time, causes serious damage to many bodily functions, especially within the nerves and blood vessels.
Why Should You Choose Ucf To Help With Your Diabetes Needs
UCF Health Services are expansive and include the treatment of endocrine disorders. Regardless of the type of diabetes you may be experiencing, our expert doctors can help get you back to optimal health. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, Orlando Endocrinology Services have vast experience in caring for patients with diabetes or other endocrine disorders.
Endocrinology experts at UCF Health spend years studying the bodys delicate endocrine system. They have seen a variety of patients from all walks of life and work with a team of other knowledgeable medical professionals to ensure each patient receives robust, correct health care. Disorders of the pituitary gland are no joke and can severely affect ones quality of life.
To discuss insurance coverage or make an appointment, visit our patient portal today. We make it easy to get our patients the health care access they need.
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Tingling Numbness Or Pain In The Hands Or Feet
High blood sugar levels can affect blood circulation and damage the bodys nerves. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can lead to pain or a sensation of tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition is known as neuropathy, and it can worsen over time and lead to more serious complications if a person does not get treatment for their diabetes.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes, it’s important to get tested. When you spot the condition early, you can avoid nerve damage, heart trouble, and other complications.
As a general rule, call your doctor if you:
- Feel sick to your stomach, weak, and very thirsty
- Are peeing a lot
- Have a bad belly ache
- Are breathing more deeply and faster than normal
- Have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover
Cleveland Clinic: “Diabetes: Frequently Asked Questions” and “What Is Diabetes?”Ã Ã¢â¬ÅDiabetes: Preventing Complications,Ã¢â¬ï¿½ Ã¢â¬ÅHyperglycemia .Ã¢â¬ï¿½
University of Michigan Health System: “Type 1 Diabetes.”
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: “Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes.”
Baylor Scott & White Healthcare: “Urinary Frequency” and “Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy Hard-to-Heal Wounds.”
Sutter Health: “Question & Answer: Is Sudden Weight Loss a Sign of Diabetes? If So, Why?”
Neithercott, T. Diabetes Forecast, August 2013.
University of Rochester Medical Center: “Diabetic Skin Troubles.”
Joslin Diabetes Center: “Diseases of the Eye” and “Diabetic Neuropathy: What You Need to Know.”
The Nemours Foundation: “When Blood Sugar Is Too High.”
Virginia Mason Medical Center: “Complications.”
Carolinas Health System: “Diabetes: Yeast Infections and Diabetes: What You Should Know.”
Geisinger Health: Ã¢â¬Å3 reasons diabetic wounds are slow to heal.Ã¢â¬ï¿½
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How Can You Tell If You Have Diabetes
The early signs of diabetes depend on if one has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, whereas type 2 diabetes is prevalent in adults. Usually, in type 2 diabetes, the signs may be unnoticeable unless some complications occur. With type 1 diabetes, the symptoms are severe and appear quickly. Routine blood sugar level check-up is an ideal way to detect diabetes at an early stage.
Measures To Control Diabetes
When the blood sugar test confirms your diabetes, you should start taking precautions to keep your blood sugar levels in control. In addition to the prescribed medications, you should make some changes in your lifestyle as well. It will help you in diabetes management more effectively. The lifestyle changes that you should include in your life are:
- Healthy Eating: Give up eating all kinds of foods and unhealthy foods . Switch to low-carb and high fiber food. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels in your body.
- Regular Exercise: Exercise is the best way to keep your body fit and healthy. People with diabetes especially need to exercise regularly. It helps them in maintaining healthy body weight and promotes better functioning of the pancreas in Insulin release. Therefore, it improves the insulin sensitivity of the body to manage blood sugar levels. But it is very important to understand the type of exercises you should do. There were patients who thought waking or playing a sport makes the best workout. But thatâs not true. Fitness experts can help you gain muscle weight and shred fat from your body.
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What Are Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can generate different physical symptoms. However, those afflicted with either type may experience these common occurrences:
Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms of type 1 or 2 diabetes and dont hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional. When left unattended, certain symptoms of diabetes can cause lifelong issues, even when type 1 or type 2 diabetes gets under control.
How To Recognize The Early Signs Of Diabetes
The early signs of diabetes are referred to as the 3 Ps. According to Orville Kolterman, MD, chief medical officer at Pendulum, a company that makes products to help control glucose levels, these include the following:
- Polyphagia: Excessive hunger
Because type 1 diabetics do not produce insulin at all, they often show more dramatic symptoms when compared with type 2 diabetics.
“Usually type 1 is a very rapid deterioration with severe symptoms, landing you in the hospital for a diagnosis,” says Stephanie Redmond, a doctor of pharmacy and co-founder of Diabetes Doctor Supplements. “With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can still create insulin, it just doesn’t work as well as it should so we see less drastic symptoms for type 2 diagnosis.”
Here’s how to determine these 3 early symptoms of diabetes, and why they occur.
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You Need To Pee Frequently
One of the early signs of high blood sugar is an increased urge to pee.
When your kidneys notice sugar surge, they begin overworking to filter and absorb the excess blood glucose. Because of the increased kidney function, youll feel thirsty, drink water more and visit the bathroom frequently.
If this problem messes with your sleep schedule i.e disturb your sleep at night you might want to seek a professionals opinion.
You Feel Hungry All The Time
Hormone imbalance & the mental distress caused by hyper- or hypoglycemia can also lead to severe hunger pangs.
You might experience sudden urges to snack on your favorite junk foods, typically at night, or when youre stressed out. Besides, when your body burns excess fat, youll naturally feel hungry more often.
If you dont eat nutritious foods to regulate blood sugar, theres a chance of increased weight and obesity. It further raises the risk of diabetic health complications.
In short, diabetes is directly linked to your diet. The healthier you eat, the easier it is to manage the sugar levels.
If you notice any significant changes in your eating habits, it might be one of the early signs of diabetes that need your attention.
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
You’ll be given a special sweetened drink prior to this blood test. A test result of 11.1 mmol/L or greater taken two hours after having the sweet drink indicates diabetes.
A second test must be done in all cases . Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education. Diabetes Canada also has many resources to help you understand diabetes better and live a long and healthy life. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and managing the disease is not easy. But it is important to know that you can live a long and healthy life by taking a number of steps including keeping your blood sugar levels in target range.
The Early Signs & Symptoms Of Diabetes
Diabetes has slowly become one of the most common lifestyle disorders affecting both, urban and rural areas alike. You can attribute this to overeating, obesity, stressful, busy and sedentary lifestyles which lead to the early symptoms of diabetes. This also includes lack of proper nutrition which leads to disturbed glucose metabolism. Heredity is also a major factor in the development of the disease. It is usually misunderstood that eating only refined sugar in excess will lead to diabetes but thats not the case. Excess intake of proteins and fats also leads to development of diabetes because ultimately they are also metabolized and converted to glucose.
Diabetes is characterized by the elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. It is of 2 types:
- Type 1: is present since birth due to complete absence of insulin
- Type 2: Develops later in life due to the deficiency of insulin
There are other variants too like gestational diabetes which occur during pregnancy. Read more about it here:
Since untreated or uncontrolled diabetes gradually starts affecting the functioning of major organs of the body, like the heart, kidneys, brain, nervous system, eyes, etc. it is important to diagnose and treat the disease as early as possible.
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Foot Pain And Numbness Can Be Signs Of Diabetic Neuropathy
Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar level can damage the nerves throughout the body, called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities.
Diabetic neuropathy usually starts in the feet and then it progresses upward, says Ovalle. Although most common in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 25 years or more, it can occur in people who have prediabetes as well. When it affects the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, its termed peripheral neuropathy.
Numbness in the feet can increase their risk of infection: If you don’t feel a cut or scrape on your foot, you might not notice or properly treat it, he says.
When To See A Dermatologist
Diabetes can cause many other skin problems. Most skin problems are harmless, but even a minor one can become serious in people who have diabetes. A board-certified dermatologist can recognize skin problems due to diabetes and help you manage them.
Are all dermatologists board certified?
No. See what it takes to become board certified.
ImagesImage 1: Image Courtesy of Clark C. Otley, MD. All Rights Reserved
Images 3, 7, 8, 9: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2 from DermNetNZ
Some images used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
ReferencesCohen Sabban, EN. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus from A to Z. Focus session presented at: 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology March 4-8, 2016 Washington D.C.
Duff M, Demidova O, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Clinical Diabetes. 2015 33:40-8.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:1461-70.
McKinley-Grant L, Warnick M, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease. In: Kelly AP and Taylor S. Dermatology for Skin of Color. . The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. China, 2009:481-4.
Morgan AJ and Schwartz RA. Diabetic dermopathy: A subtle sign with grave implications. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 58:447-51.
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Increase In Frequency Of Urination
The kidneys help process and filter glucose, with much of it normally being reabsorbed into the body. However, when blood glucose gets very high, it can be too demanding for the kidneys to process, causing glucose to spill over into the urine and be excreted from the body.
If you notice you or your child are urinating more than is normal for you, it is worth investigating, especially if other early signs of diabetes accompany it.
For children, sometimes this can present as nighttime bedwetting and having accidents after they have been potty trained and normally stay dry at night. In adults, you might not notice the increased frequency at first, but be aware if it leads to waking at night to urinate.
What Are The Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes refers to a collection of diseases in which the human body has some sort of issue with insulin. In some instances of diabetes, the body doesnt make enough of the crucial hormone whereas, in other situations, the body cant appropriately use whatever insulin is created. In other cases, a combination of both occurs. Each of these situations inhibits the body from drawing sugar out of the bloodstream and distributing it to the cells. This results in high blood sugar levels that require medical attention and management.
We draw a majority of our energy from glucose, which is found in the bloodstream. Insulin helps manage this and, when unavailable, sugar continues to build up in the bloodstream, creating a wide variety of health problems and issues.
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If You Ignore The Signs Of Diabetes
Its hard to ignore the signs of type 1 diabetes because symptoms can often appear quite quickly. But leaving it untreated can lead to serious health problems, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in a potentially fatal coma.
Although the majority of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood and early adulthood, the symptoms are the same at any age. Adults with type 1 diabetes may not recognise their diabetes symptoms as quickly as children, which could mean their diagnosis and treatment may be delayed.
Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss as it develops more slowly, especially in the early stages when it can be harder to spot the symptoms. But untreated diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Being diagnosed early and managing your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications. Use our Know Your Risk tool to check your risk of type 2 diabetes.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Many people get tested for diabetes because they develop symptoms that are potential early warning signs.
For example, people with type 1 diabetes may experience unintentional weight loss or develop flu-like symptoms. People with type 2 diabetes may experience extreme thirst or frequent urination.
You may experience one or more of the warning signs associated with diabetes. If you do, its important to contact your doctor for an appointment.
You may also discover a diabetes diagnosis after visiting your doctor for another condition or for routine blood work.
If you make an appointment with your doctor due to diabetes warning signs, they will want to know:
- your symptoms
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and will likely run some blood tests.
There are several tests that can diagnose diabetes. These include:
- A1C: This test shows what your blood glucose level has averaged for the last 2 or 3 months. This does not require you to fast or drink anything.
- Fasting plasma glucose : You will need to fast for at least 8 hours before this test is done.
- Oral glucose tolerance : This test takes 2 to 3 hours. Your blood glucose levels are tested initially and then repeated at intervals for 2 hours after youve consumed a specific sweet drink.
- Random plasma glucose test: You can have this test done any time and do not need to be fasting.
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What Are The Long Term Health Effects Of Diabetes
If you dont recognize the first warning signs of high blood sugar, the glucose levels will remain unmanaged for a long time. Consequently, you might develop serious health risks.
Studies show that untreated diabetes even contributes to early death in women!
For example, lets talk about diabetes in pregnancy or gestational diabetes. Its quite harmful for your babys wellbeing.
Thus, knowing the dangerous symptoms of gestational diabetes can prevent these pregnancy complications.
Additionally, long-term diabetes leads to the following health risks in women:
- Coronary heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Skin problems
If you notice any of the above symptoms of high blood sugar, the first thing you should do is visit a healthcare professional.
Theyll probably ask you to go for a diabetes diagnosis blood test to determine which type of diabetes you have OR how dangerous it is.
Lets get to the warning signs of diabetes so you can start proper treatment right away.
Previously Healthy: Reegans Story
In 2013, Darice and Keith Oxendines 16-month-old daughter, Reegan, was life-flighted from Scotland Memorial Hospital to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UNC Chapel Hill. Shed suffered complications following a misdiagnosis, despite having shown symptoms of Type 1 diabetes for three months prior.
By the time she arrived at UNC and was properly diagnosed, it was too late. The excess sugar in her blood had damaged her vital organs beyond repair. The official cause of death: Type 1 diabetes. Read Reegans story here.
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