Diabetes Without Symptoms Is Still Diabetes
An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, but according to the CDC, one-quarter to one-third don’t know it. How can so many individuals be unaware that they have diabetes? Certainly, one major factor is the absence of symptoms. This is a hallmark of both prediabetes and the early stages of type 2 diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes share such symptoms as unquenchable thirst with frequent urination, unexpected weight loss, fatigue, extreme hunger and blurred vision.
Another symptom experienced by people with type 2 diabetes is increased frequency of infections and cuts, or bruises that do not heal quickly. The onset of symptoms tends to be more gradual for people with type 2 diabetes than for those with type 1.
The gradual nature of prediabetes—often a precursor to type 2 diabetes—can disguise actual diabetic symptoms and prevent early diagnosis. As a result, it is especially important for individuals who have some diabetes risk factors to be aware of the symptoms and to watch for their appearance.
The appearance of any of these symptoms is a good reason to see a health care professional.
Diabetes, particularly type 2, has a hereditary component. If an individual with diabetes has a family member with the disease, that individual has an increased chance of developing it as well. Other major risk factors include smoking, being overweight or inactive, or having high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Age, ethnicity (of European descent for type 1, and of African, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian or Pacific Islander descent fo Continue reading