Posted by: Kelley Dees | November 15, 2010

Diabetes Awareness

Yes terday was World Diabetes Day. There are many myths about diabetes that make it difficult for people to believe some of the hard facts—such as diabetes is a serious and potentially deadly disease. Due to the rural nature of healthcare in the agricultural industry and in the state of Wyoming, many agricultural workers have this disease and aren’t aware of it. So let’s get the facts about diabetes:

Myth #1: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.

False: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Myth #2: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

False: While being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, other risk factors also play a role. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.

Myth #3: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

False: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors trigger the onset of this disease. Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases risk and a diet high in calories (from sugar or from fat) contributes to weight gain, which can contribute to risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. So what are the symptoms?

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and irritability

Type 2 Diabetes*

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

* Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms

If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away. You can also take this Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for diabetes.

Have you already been diagnosed with diabetes but are concerned about symptoms that may be the result of complications related to diabetes? Visit the Complications section of the American Diabetes Association to find out what you may be at risk of developing due to diabetes and how to prevent or delay the onset of these complications.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from the American Diabetes Association.

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