Nearly everyone is familiar with the term Diabetes, but not everyone is familiar with the disease itself. Statistics show that more than 37 million people in the U.S., or 11% of the population, have some form of diabetes, whether it is type 1, type 2 or pre-diabetes. However, one in four do not realize they are walking around with the disease.

In the simplest terms, diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. If not managed properly, it can severely damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. Diabetes, specifically type 2, has greatly affected the health of many of the people living in Eastern Kentucky in a negative way. From increased probability of serious health problems to drastic escalation in medical bills, the effects of type 2 diabetes can be felt in thousands of households throughout the region.

Type 2 diabetes, which is more common in older adults, can be worsened by several factors including smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure or poor nutrition and diet. Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, patients can make decisions to manage it better, including eating well, losing weight and exercising. Left untreated, diabetes may lead to additional, serious health problems including hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, loss of teeth, depression, arthritis, asthma, stroke and even death.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes :

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

Patients experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to contact their family practice provider. For more information on Diabetes Care at Pikeville Medical Center, scan the code provided: