Many people think unless they have symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, or pain and/or numbness in their feet or hands, they will not develop complications. What is just as important to know is blood sugars can be high without any of the usual symptoms of diabetes and can be doing harm to your vessels in the eye, kidney, heart, or damage nerves leading to the feet or hands, without a person knowing it is happening. According to the California Department of Public Health, in California, approximately 1.5 million or 5% of our adult population has diabetes but doesn’t know it.
Are you aware of the risk factors for diabetes?
Age 40 or older
Immediate family member with diabetes
Being obese ( generally 30-40 pounds or more about ideal weight)
Had diabetes during pregnancy
Being diagnosed with high blood pressure
Being physically inactive
If you have 2 or more or the above risk factors, check with your doctor to see if additional testing is needed. Prevention is the key. With awareness and some simple lifestyle changes, diabetes can be controlled and one’s quality of life can be maintained or improved. Developing complications can often be minimized or avoided, if detected and acted upon early.