Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body can’t regulate glucose in normal limits and blood glucose levels become very high. It is important to treat the disease as soon as possible because going from low to high glucose levels excessively can injure tissues in the body. Hyperglycemia is known as higher than normal levels of blood glucose. If diabetes is not controlled it can lead to blindness, seizures, kidney failure, nerve disease, amputations, stroke and heart disease. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to ketoacidosis which can result in death.

About 24 million people in the US are diagnosed with diabetes. It is speculated that another 5.7 million people have it, but don’t know it. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and American Indians and Alaska Natives. The two main forms are type 1 and type 2. Some women can also develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Symptoms of type 1:

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability

Symptoms of type 2:

  • Any of the type 1 signs
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that heal slowly
  • Tingling/numbness in hands or feet
  • Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.


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