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H
ealth Hint #59
 

Diabetes: Warnings and Ways to Reduce

© American Institute for Preventive Medicine, DonR. Powell PhD

Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer



Since the discovery of insulin in 1921, managing diabetes has become more effective than ever. Today, with care, most diabetics can lead productive lives.

Normally, your body changes sugars and starch into glucose (a simple sugar), which serves as fuel. When diabetes develops, the amount of glucose in the blood may become dangerously high because insulin (the substance that controls glucose levels) is in short supply. Diabetics either don't produce enough insulin or their bodies don't respond to the insulin as they should; that's why they have to take insulin by injection or another medication by mouth to help the body secrete more of its own insulin.

To help you recognize the warning signs of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association uses the acronyms DIABETES and CAUTION.

D rowsiness
I tching
A family history of diabetes
B lurred vision
E xcessive weight
T ingling, numbness, or pain in extremities
E asy fatigue
S kin infection, slow healing of cuts and scratches, especially on the feet

Other signs are:

C onstant urination
A bnormal thirst
U nusual hunger
T he rapid loss of weight
I rritability
O bvious weakness and fatigue
N ausea and vomiting

You don't necessarily have to experience all of these warning signs to be diabetic; only one or two may be present. Some people show no warning signs whatsoever and find out they're diabetic after a routine blood test. So if you have a family history of diabetes, you should be especially watchful of the signs and symptoms mentioned before. If you notice any of those signs report them to your doctor. Being overweight increases your risk significantly. A diet high in sugar and low in fiber may increase your risk as well. Pregnancy can trigger diabetes in some women.

There are two forms of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is more severe and usually shows up before the age of 40. Insulin injections as well as dietary control and excercise are essential.

Type 2 diabetes is less severe and affects people who are older and overweight. This type is most often treated with diet and exercise and sometimes oral medicine. Occasional insulin injections may be required as well.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.