American Diabetes Month
A disease of many types and causes, diabetes continues to be on the rise in the US. The CDC estimates that over 1/3 of American adults are at least pre-diabetic, with over 10% of the population diagnosed with one type of diabetes or another.
With these numbers continuing to rise, it is important to know what to look out for in case you are at risk, what complications may rise if you already have been diagnosed, and what can be done to prevent, or sometimes even reverse, some of these symptoms.
Symptoms to Look Into
The CDC thankfully has a list of things for us to keep an eye on. It is important to remember that having one or more of the items on this list does not mean that we have diabetes, but rather that is important to bring these symptoms to the attention of your physician just in case!
Very often, people with diabetes will note that their weight will drop unexpectedly without a change in diet or exercise. This may also come with an onset of increased thirst or hunger despite this weight loss, and often increased fatigue. You may also find yourself having to urinate more than usual.
Signs of immune compromise like increased illness or infections, or wounds that do not heal as quickly as normally, are other signs. You may also find that your skin has gotten dryer.
Finally, signs of changes in your nerves like numbness and tingling, weakness in your hands or feet, or changes in your vision in one or both eyes may be related.
Any or all of these are worth keeping an eye on!
What to Watch Out For
Along with the obvious strength and weight concerns, the changes in our nerves that may accompany diabetes are especially important to be aware of. Having a harder time feeling your feet may result in decreased balance, but may also make it easier to develop pressure sores and not notice cuts bumps and bruises if we accidentally run into things. Regularly practicing your balance and checking your skin throughout the body, but especially places like the bottom of your feet you do not often look at, can help keep you safe from falls and infections!
What Can You Do?
The good news is that along with speaking without your physician about medical control of these symptoms, a good exercise regimen and changes in your diet can help prevent, and sometimes even reverse, some of the effects of diabetes.
With exercise and diet, there is never a wrong time to get started, so while watching for the symptoms above, get proactive to try and keep them from popping up! As always, if you don’t quite know where to start, your doctors and healthcare professionals are here to help!
Written By Dr. Alec Martinez, DP, DPT. (Clermont)