I hear this question more often these days, and it’s a good question to ask.
Often people do not know they have diabetes, because the signs and symptoms can be nonexistence or so mild that they don’t know it’s there. More importantly, you may be in a pre-diabetic state, and not yet know it. This is why it’s so important to see your health care provider for screening.
A person with diabetes may notice the following signs and symptoms:
- increased thirst and/or hunger
- increased urination (especially nighttime
- weight loss (especially type 1)
- blurred vision
- sores that do not heal.
In women, something that is often overlooked is frequent and even continuous vaginal yeast infections. All of these things warrant a check up.
Do you have any of these risk factors?
- Family history. This means a parent, sister or brother has diabetes.
- You are a person whose heritage is African-American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Hispanic.
- You have a history of gestational diabetes. This means you had diabetes when you were pregnant.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You have an abnormal cholesterol panel
- Your lifestyle can be described as inactive
- You are overweight or obese.
You can assess your risk further with this tool. Make sure you go over these factors with your health care provider so the proper tests can be made.
Diabetes does not have to ruin your life. With treatment you can avoid many of the complications. And if you have pre-diabetes, you can even prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Make sure you take care of the most important woman in your life… you!
Barbara C. Phillips, NP