Get Familiar With the Signs, Symptoms and Risks of Diabetes

January 3, 2023

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Diabetes, also known as hyperglycemia, is a chronic health condition that alters how your body processes sugar. As the conditions worsens, the amount of sugar in your blood can fluctuate rapidly, which can cause serious problems. 

Diabetes is a growing health problem. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has doubled, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, over 37 million people in the U.S. are diabetic, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 of them are completely unaware. Over one-third of all U.S. adults are prediabetic, and around 8 in 10 of them don’t know. Therefore, it’s especially important to familiarize yourself with the signs, symptoms and potential risks of diabetes.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is tied tightly to insulin, a hormone produced in an organ called the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose, a sugar your body creates from food and drink, to enter your body’s cells to provide energy. There are several kinds of diabetes – the three most common are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes means that your pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or makes  none at all. Without insulin, your body can’t properly absorb blood sugar, so it builds up in your bloodstream.
  • Type 2 diabetes typically develops when your cells don’t respond normally to insulin, what’s known as insulin resistance. To compensate, your pancreas makes more insulin in an attempt to trigger a response. The pancreas can’t keep up and blood sugar levels rise. Eventually, this can cause prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy. It occurs when your body can’t produce an adequate amount of insulin while pregnant. Around 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes.

Living With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, it’s a good idea to start a care routine to make sure you’re in touch with your body. It’s important that you check your blood sugar levels daily and have a disciplined schedule for medication – that means always taking it, even when you’re feeling good. You also should aim to exercise regularly and focus on making healthy choices in your diet. Of course, check with your medical provider before beginning any new exercise routine.

People with diabetes are especially susceptible to developing infected wounds. Even small cuts on the feet can develop into larger infections. If left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can result in disability, amputation and even death. Our Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center offers state-of-the-art treatment for all kinds of wounds, including ones that have resisted healing. Our healing rate is over 80 percent – let us help you get your life back.

And don’t forget about your mental health. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and find yourself feeling sad or depressed, you should reach out to your doctor right away. They’ll be able to connect you with the best resources.