Learn how early diabetes detection can prevent serious complications

Author: Lindsey Ulrich

"Early detection of diabetes can help prevent the disease or delay complications."



According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.

The warning signs of diabetes can go undetected because they are easy to miss and may not seem out of the ordinary. Common signs include frequent urination, increased thirst, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, and weight loss without trying. If you think you may be showing signs of diabetes, it is important to take action early on and contact your doctor to start discussing management of the disease.

“Early detection of diabetes can help prevent the disease or delay complications,” said Brenda Sobleskey, RN and coordinator of diabetes education for McLaren Greater Lansing. “Some people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed with pre-diabetes prior to official diagnosis. Moderate lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, and losing 10 to 15 pounds can reduce risk of diabetes or prolong the disease.”

The disease is most common in people who are at least 45 years old, are overweight or obese, or have high blood pressure. Genetics also plays a role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Warning signs can also be evident in children. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, 187,000 children and adolescents have diabetes. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms your child may be experiencing.

“Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to risk of more serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, eye complications, nerve damage, and kidney disease,” Sobleskey said. That is why it is critical to monitor any unusual bodily activity and maintain a healthy diet and exercise to prevent or delay the onset of these health issues.

McLaren offers a Diabetes Self-Management Education program for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. By attending their classes, you can learn more about how to manage the disease. These classes are taught by both a registered nurse and a registered dietician. They can help to develop a plan to monitor the disease, manage blood glucose levels, prevent complications, and balance a healthy diet and physical activity.

If you believe you or a family member may be at risk of diabetes, click here to find out if you need to take early action.

For more information on diabetes services at McLaren Greater Lansing, click here.

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