Diabetes is a disease that millions of Americans suffer from. Unfortunately, it isn’t just any disease, it is a long-term disease. This means almost all of the individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes will have it for the remainder of their life. The good thing about diabetes is that it can easily be managed. However, to be managed, you must first be diagnosed with the disease.

When it comes to being diagnosed with diabetes, you need to speak to a healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician. Diabetes can only officially be diagnosed by a healthcare professional. Despite needing a healthcare professional to diagnose you, there are a number of signs and symptoms that you should be on the lookout for. These symptoms may help to inform you, as well as your healthcare provider, if you may have diabetes or if you may be at risk for developing it.

Before you can begin to understand the most common signs and symptoms of diabetes, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the disease. Although diabetes is a disease that results from too little insulin in the body, there are three different types of diabetes. These three different diabetes types not only have some different signs and symptoms, they also have different treatment options. The three main types of diabetes are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is most common in children; however, the disease will carryon into adulthood. Common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and unexplained weight loss. Type 2 diabetes is most commonly found with adults; however, some children have been known to develop it. The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes includes increased urination, increased thirst, fatigue, as well as, impotence, blurred vision, and increased appetite. Gestational diabetes is found and diagnosed during pregnancy; many times the only symptom associated with this type of diabetes is a high blood glucose reading.

In addition to the above mentioned diabetes signs and symptoms, it may also be a good idea to examine the risk factors associated with diabetes. This is importance because, although a large number of individuals experience some of the above mentioned symptoms, not everyone sees or notices even the most common symptoms of diabetes. If you have a close family member with diabetes, are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you are over the age of forty-five, you are at an increased risk for developing diabetes. Should a number of the previously mentioned risk factors describe you, it may be a good idea to speak to your primary care physician or another healthcare provider.

As previously mentioned, there is currently no cure for diabetes; however, the disease is treatable and manageable. If you are diagnosed with having diabetes, whether it be type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, your healthcare provider will likely discuss the appropriate treatment options. These treatment options will all likely depend on which type of diabetes you are diagnosed with. Regardless of which type of diabetes you have, you may be required to take insulin shots. If so, your physician will provide you will all of the necessary information, including what type of insulin needs to be used, as well as how often.

In addition to taking insulin shots, if your physician recommends it, you may also be required to begin an exercise program or watch what you eat. As with the insulin, your physician should also help you to develop an effective eating plan, as well as an exercise program. These programs are important; therefore, you need to follow them. In fact, if you have type 2 diabetes, you may also find that eating right and exercising may eliminate many of the signs of diabetes. In fact, it has been said that with the proper diet and exercise, it is possible for a type 2 diabetes patient to be taken off of their insulin.

Perhaps, the best way to learn more about diabetes, particularly the type that you are diagnosed with, is to speak with your healthcare provider. In addition to giving you information on how to manage your diabetes, they may also give you valuable tips on how to move on with your life. This is often done with counseling or with diabetes support groups. Unfortunately, diabetes is becoming such as problem, in America, that there is a good chance that you may have access to a number of local diabetes support groups.

By Ted Cornwall. Ted Cornwall is a dietitian and expert on diabetes, as well as a contributor to Healthline.com.

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25 Feb 2007