By Barbara Fradkin – Hometown News
Reader Question: If I have prediabetes, does that mean I will eventually get diabetes?
Answer: Most of the food we eat breaks down into sugar, or glucose. In a healthy person, the pancreas releases insulin when your blood sugar goes up. Insulin is the gatekeeper, letting blood sugar into your body’s cells for energy. People with diabetes don’t make enough insulin, or can’t use it as well. That means too much sugar stays in their bloodstream, which can lead to serious health problems over time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 34.2 million Americans are living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is most often developed in childhood. There is no known prevention. Type 2 diabetes is a different story, accounting for 95% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 comes on slowly over time, and obesity is the leading risk factor. The last 20 years have witnessed a diabetes surge in adults, teens– and even children.
In Florida, 2.4 million people have diabetes and another 5.8 million have prediabetes, which is a blood sugar level that’s higher than it should be. Nearly everyone with Type 2 diabetes has prediabetes first. Right now, more than one in three adults in America have prediabetes –and 84% of them have no idea.
If you’re one of those people walking around with undiagnosed prediabetes, Nurse Lisa Conway at One Senior Place wants you to know the warning signs.
“Symptoms can include increased urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, fatigue, dry mouth or itchy skin, slow healing sores and increased infections.”
Conway, an Aging Life Care Professional, is quick to add the good news:
“You can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthier and getting regular physical activity.”
Don’t wait. For information on diabetes resources, call One Senior Place at 321-751-6771.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to AskOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com, call 321-751- 6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com. Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.