Diabetes Mellitus is the condition where the body is unable to produce insulin or when a person becomes resistant to insulin. This chronic illness is characterized by high levels of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream and can bring serious complications such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness, and others.
The American Diabetes Association reports that diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. 2005 statistics show that more than 21 million Americans have diabetes while 54 million have a pre-diabetic condition.
A landmark study in the US conducted in 2002 reveals that maintaining a healthy weight, proper nutrition, education and close monitoring of blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of Adult Onset Diabetes (also called Type 2 Diabetes) for people diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Knowing the symptoms of diabetes mellitus in adults can mean a big difference in preventing the complications it could bring.
What are the symptoms of Adult Onset Diabetes?
The most obvious symptoms of Adult Onset Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes include a sudden increase in appetite, unusual thirst and frequent urination. These three symptoms are related to one another. When a person has abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, the kidneys would try to work harder to eliminate excess toxins in the blood. This results to frequent urination. In turn, a person may feel unusual hunger and thirst as the body tries to get rid of toxins. Other signs of diabetes are fatigue, wounds or bruises that slowly heal, blurry vision, and sexual dysfunction.
Can Diabetes be prevented?
According to experts, the best way to deal with diabetes is to prevent its onset. Although there is no known prevention for Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes can be avoided by leading a healthy way of life. Since diabetes is caused by an increase in blood sugar levels, it’s important to watch out what we eat. A diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can easily lead to diabetes.
Having a regular routine of exercise also helps minimize the risk of diabetes. Through moderate physical activity, we burn excess calories in our body. Remember that unused calories are absorbed in our blood in the form of sugar or glucose. Thus, it is not surprising that most people with diabetes are known to be overweight, obese or have sedentary lifestyles.
Not Just in Adults
It is interesting to note that Type 2 Diabetes is not anymore considered as just an adult disease. In the past years, people over the age of 45 are said to be more at risk of developing diabetes. However, recent studies show that about one third of children who were born after the year 2000 are also at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes at some point in their lifetime. In fact, about 2 million adolescents with ages 12-19 have been diagnosed to have a pre-diabetic condition.
The reason? Unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Therefore, training kids from an early age about the importance of a balance diet and exercise is crucial in reducing the prevalence of diabetes. Parents should teach their kids and be an example as well to prevent diabetes by living a healthier way of life.