As of 2011, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus is a condition that occurs when the body can’t use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Now considered to be at epidemic levels, the total cost of Diabetes in the United States is in excess of $174 billion.
1.9 million new cases of Diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010. If current trends continue, one in three children, born in 2000, will develop Diabetes. Untreated Diabetes is the leading factor in the development of kidney disease, and blindness. It is also associated with non-traumatic amputations, stroke and heart disease. Thus it is imperative to know the symptoms and seek the appropriate treatment.
Signs and symptoms of Diabetes may include any of the following: frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss and extreme fatigue. Additionally, frequent infections, poorly healing wounds, and blurred vision may indicate Diabetes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you speak to your healthcare provider and be screened for Diabetes.
Confirmation of diabetes is done through blood testing.
The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) is the preferred method for diagnosing Diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Normal fasting blood glucose — or blood sugar — is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL for people who do not have Diabetes. The standard diagnosis of Diabetes is made when two separate blood tests show that your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL
The casual plasma glucose test is another method of diagnosing Diabetes. During the test, blood sugar is tested without regard to the time since the person’s last meal. You are not required to abstain from eating prior to the test. A glucose level greater than 200 mg/dL may indicate Diabetes, especially if the test is repeated at a later time and shows similar results.
Early treatment for Diabetes is paramount. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more opportunity to decrease the chance of complications. With proper treatment, persons with diabetes can live long, healthy, and productive lives.For more information on Diabetes, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, check out the Tampa offices of the American Diabetes Association (4902 Eisenhower Blvd, Suite 295, Tampa, FL 33634).