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Warning Signs and Diagnosing Diabetes

Early detection and healthy living can do wonders to stave off the ravages of diabetes

Diabetes is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a condition in which the body does not properly process food for energy. The condition can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Shockingly, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

If you care for a senior and are concerned about the dangers of this pervasive disease, you’ll want to pay close attention to the more common warning signs – all to promote early detection. Diagnosing diabetes is something best left to a healthcare professional, but by keeping the following indicators in mind you’ll increase the odds of a successful outcome.

First off, many individuals may discover that they have diabetes or are in the pre-diabetes stage only after receiving a diagnosis from their physician. Simply put, there may be minimal to no warning signs to indicate the prevalence of the disease. If you do see any of the following signs in your patient, friend, loved one, or even yourself, though, consider making an appointment right away with a physician:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Unfounded weight loss
  • Insatiable appetite
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Overly dry skin
  • An inability to fight infections as easily as usual
  • Slow healing times or open sores
  • Numbness in the extremities or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Frequent urination

If sharp stomach pains, vomiting, or nausea develop, this may be an indicator of insulin-dependent diabetes, now commonly referred to as Type 1 diabetes.

What are the general treatment methods for diabetes?

Bringing blood-glucose levels under control is the overriding goal for diabetes sufferers, and many will begin to feel better quickly by treating the root cause of the disease. Here are some of the general treatment methods and wellness techniques to minimize the risks associated with diabetes:

  • Practice good oral health to counteract one of the byproducts of diabetes – a higher risk for gum problems. Brush, floss, use an approved mouthwash, and visit the dentist regularly.
  • Manage your weight to reduce the likelihood of continuing to live with Type-2 diabetes.
  • Eat right, meaning to consume foods that are low in fat, sodium, and sugar, and high in healthy fiber and nutrients.
  • Use insulin when appropriate, and try to time it with regularly scheduled meal times.
  • Exercise is incredibly important as it helps to stabilize body weight, strengthens the heart and lungs, and it enables the body’s insulin to work more effectively to control blood sugar.
  • Test blood sugar at intervals determined by your doctor to ensure that your levels are within a healthy range. If not, use prescribed medications and monitor your levels throughout the day.

Diabetes is a dangerous disease that affects millions of individuals across our great nation. Whether you are concerned about your own health or the wellness of a senior in your care, you’ll want to pay attention to the diabetes warning signs and treatment options available today.