Diabetes is a disease that impacts millions of people. Because it is so widespread, there is an entire month dedicated to the awareness and management of it, and the month is November. Many consider Thanksgiving and football with the month of November, but there is a greater underlying theme to the month in its dedication to an impactful disease.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, as well as gestational diabetes, which effects expectant mothers. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In fact, it was once referred to as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of individuals suffering from diabetes have this type. In this case, the body does not produce insulin, which is a hormone that the body uses to get glucose from the blood stream and into cells in the body. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is denoted by the body’s misuse of insulin. The body is not able to keep up and make enough insulin to maintain normal levels. Gestational diabetes is characterized by the hormones that help the baby to grow blocking the action of the mother’s insulin. Usually around week 24 of pregnancy gestational diabetes is detected, according to diabetes.org, and as many as 9.2% of expectant mothers are diagnosed with this.
Common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include urinating often, feeling very thirsty, feeling very hungry even though you are eating, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, weight loss even though you are eating more, and tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet. Gestational diabetes, however, often presents no symptoms, which is why testing at the proper time in pregnancy is so important.
If experiencing any or many of the symptoms outlined above, it is important to consult with your doctor to determine if diabetes is something you should be concerned about. Just under 24% of individuals with diabetes are undiagnosed according to the website, and diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
If it were not a serious issue, there would not be a month dedicated to its awareness. Educate yourself on this disease and share your knowledge with others around you. As with any medical problem, early detection is the key to combatting it.