The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.
Shawna Lupkes, a diabetes nurse educator at Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital says that when you have type 2 diabetes, which comprises 95 percent of diabetes cases, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should.
This causes sugars to build up in your blood. The CDC says diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
The CDC says that people who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:
• Frequent urination
• Excessive thirst
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme hunger
• Sudden vision changes
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
• Feeling very tired much of the time
• Very dry skin
• Sores that are slow to heal
• More infections than usual
Lupkes tells us about treatment.
She says there are ways people should try to prevent diabetes too, especially if you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
She says if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, many insurance plans cover education to help you know how to control your diabetes. She says many hospitals offer that education, including Sanford Rock Rapids.
She says they also offer a quarterly pre-diabetes class. For more information, contact your local hospital or clinic. You can also find out more at diabetes.org.