Thirty million people in America have diabetes, but only fraction actually know it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death as of 2015, along with heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It’s also one of the comorbidities of obesity. Roughly one third of Americans are obese, which puts many Americans at risk for type 2 diabetes. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help hasten a diagnosis, and being able to control blood sugar levels is crucial to limiting the harm that may come from the disease if it’s left unchecked.
Diabetes is confirmed by a simple blood test, which can be as simple as a prick of the finger. For those with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, the symptoms can be so mild that they don’t even know there is a problem. That’s why knowing what the potential constellation of symptoms are is so important. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, tell your doctor and ask if you should be tested for diabetes.
- Frequent urination
- Unquenchable thirst
- Hunger (despite eating)
- Blurry vision
- Slow healing wounds
- Tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities
- Weight loss
Diabetes can wreak havoc on the entire body. High blood sugar causes nerve damage, which can lead to blurred vision, impaired wound healing, and tingling, numbness, or pain typically in the hands and/or feet. The kidneys try to handle the abnormal amounts of sugar in the blood by filtering it out, which leads to excessive urination. Increased thirst is also one of the hallmark symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As the body can not actually use many of the calories it consumes because it can’t absorb the glucose from the carbohydrates, sufferers often have unplanned weight loss, often in conjunction with increased hunger. Many of these symptoms are not abnormal for many of us to experience at some point in our lives in the normal course of events. But when experienced together they can often be the clue you need to pinpoint a diagnosis of diabetes.
If you are overweight or obese, you may be at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and recognizing these symptoms can be especially important. Early detection of high blood sugar is key to being able to lead a healthy life by controlling blood sugar levels, and can literally save your life.
More information on obesity and type 2 diabetes can be found on Dr. Shillingford’s website. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a Boca Raton based, board certified surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery. His specialty in weight loss surgery means he often sees patients with type 2 diabetes. Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery help obese patients lose significant amounts of excess weight, which often results in reductions in blood sugar levels to normal or near normal levels. If you are obese and have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, call Dr. Shillingford today at (561) 483-8840.