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Cabarrus Magazine

Are You Living With Diabetes Unaware?

Nov 05, 2018 11:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

Are You Living With Diabetes Unaware?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is a medical condition that affects 30.3 million people in the U.S., and 7.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and don’t know it. 

Diabetes is the result of the body not being able to produce or use insulin like it should. The inability to make insulin is known as Type I diabetes and is usually diagnosed at a young age. The inability to use the insulin the body produces is known as Type 2 diabetes and can affect people at any age.

The long-term effects of untreated diabetes can result in other medical conditions, such as kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and even death. You are at risk of developing diabetes if you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are physically inactive, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have any of these risk factors, it is recommended you be screened at least every three years, although you should be screened at any time if you have symptoms.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst and urination, unsatisfiable hunger, unexplained weight loss, vision changes and fatigue. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to be screened, so you can potentially avoid any long-term effects.

Screening for diabetes includes a simple blood sugar check and/or A1c test. Having your A1c checked involves a blood test your doctor can perform that determines the average blood sugar over the last three months. Using information gained from these tests will allow your doctor to diagnose you with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral or injectable medications, and/or lifestyle changes. David Line, druggist for Cannon Pharmacy states, “Diabetes can be a devastating disease, but your pharmacist along with your physician are here to guide you through it and help you be successful.”

Article By Carl R. Humphries

Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, 2019

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