Living with Diabetes

November 1, 2011 by Molly Huff

November is National Diabetes Awareness month, and Affinity would like to share some information on this group of diseases along with symptoms and treatments. 

Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.  There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.  In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. 
  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.  Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with this type, and many more are unaware that they are at high risk to develop Type 2 diabetes.  In this form of the disease, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. 
  • Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women, usually developing around the 24th week.  A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't mean that you had diabetes before you conceived or that you will have diabetes after giving birth, but it's important to follow your doctor's advice regarding blood glucose levels during pregnancy.

Often diabetes goes undiagnosed because of many of its symptoms seem so harmless.  Following are a list of symptoms for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1:

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

Type 2:

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

Being diagnosed with diabetes is not a death sentence.  Millions of Americans live with diabetes and are able to manage their disease with medicine, exercise, nutrition and support.  If you think you may be at risk for any form of diabetes, make an appointment with one of our family practice or internal medicine physicians.

You can also get involved with events that help raise funds, increase awareness and support the search for a cure for diabetes.  For more information on how to get involved, click here.

Georgia's diabetes offices are located in Atlanta and Savannah.