Am I diabetic? Are you asking yourself this question? Well, many people worldwide are also asking themselves the same question. It is however very important that everyone of us be in a position to answer this question. We are living in a world whereby knowledge and technology is at our disposal. Internet is everywhere and information is out there. Many diseases are also on the rise. These include diabetes as well. It is therefore very critical to know about this disease for purposes of timely diagnosis and timely treatment to prevent debilitating complications associated this disease.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes simply means that your blood sugar levels are too high. WHO defines diabetes as a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
The serious damage to the body’s organs is what makes it important to know about this disease and to manage it accordingly. No one wants to wake up one day for be told that they have a diabetic complication that should have been prevented if diabetes was diagnosed on time.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
There are many symptoms of diabetes. These symptoms vary depending on how high your sugar levels are. Some symptoms may be the early signs of the disease and some may present later on as the disease progresses or complicates. Many people ignore these symptoms either because they are in denial or they simply don’t know. People are also reluctant to visit their health care facilities either because they are simply ignorant or are for some reason afraid.
Are you peeing more frequently? Are you feeling thirstier than normal? Are you always hungry? Are you always feeling tired? Are you frequently visiting the doctor for recurrent vaginal candidiasis? If yes to any of these questions, then you might be having diabetes. Bear in mind that you might be suffering from other diseases that might not be diabetes but you sure need to get yourself checked. There are many other symptoms of diabetes out there, like numbness of hands and feet, blurry vision etc that we are not going to discuss in this article. These of course usually present later on as the disease remains untreated
What happens when you are diagnosed with diabetes
When you are diagnosed with diabetes it is important to know which type of diabetes you have because management is different. Your doctor may start you on sugar lowering drugs. They may screen you for other risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. The doctor may also advise you on weight loss and the importance of exercise. They may also talk about the complications of diabetes and how to prevent them.
Routine checks are also advised to know whether the blood sugars have gone back to normal of not. One easier and more convenient method of doing this is having your own glucose meter that you can use at home. Glucose meters are very convenient and prevents you from having repeated visits to your doctor.
Knowledge is power
They say knowledge is power. This is also true for diabetes. The right knowledge accompanied by the right actions leads to early diagnosis and timely treatment which in turn prevents complications. Equip yourself with knowledge of how to manage this disease with lifestyle modification. Which foods are good and which ones are not good for this disease. Understand the great impact that food have on diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the non-communicable diseases on the rise and are very much preventable. It however has devastating results if not treated on time. Visit your doctor for early checks even if you do not have symptoms. This is to screen for a range of diseases including diabetes. The doctor will also tell you if you are at risk of diabetes if you do not already have the disease
In conclusion, diabetes is a not a death sentence but a manageable disease. If left untreated, can cause a lot of harm to the organs of the body. Don’t wait for that to happen. Prevention is the best medicine. We shall cover this topic of prevention on our upcoming posts.