According to the American Diabetes Association, 10 percent of adult Idahoans had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Type I diabetes, previously referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes has had a steady, even trend while type II diabetes has been on the rise the last few decades.
While type I diabetes typically has a childhood onset, it can develop at any time and though we have yet to find a way to prevent or cure it, it is possible to lead a very normal lifestyle with proper management. Type II diabetes can also develop at any time from childhood through adulthood and is dependent on the diet and lifestyle habits of the patient at risk. With the growing childhood obesity epidemic, we are seeing type II diabetes being diagnosed in more young people in recent years. This is almost always preventable by encouraging active lifestyles and teaching kids about the importance of feeding their bodies healthy and nutritious foods. Finally, pregnant women can develop a condition known as gestational diabetes for which proper management is key to a healthy pregnancy and the delivery of a healthy baby.
Type I diabetes has a rapid onset and you may experience or witness symptoms such as frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, tingling hands/feet, feelings of fatigue, dry skin, slowly healing sores, frequent infections, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Symptoms of type II diabetes are similar but have a much slower onset and can be easily missed or mistaken. Gestational diabetes rarely manifests any symptoms in pregnant women but can still be equally dangerous. The best way to find out if you or a loved one has diabetes or prediabetes (high blood sugar not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type II) is to see your primary care provider and get a blood sugar test.
Diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, dementia, and more if not managed appropriately. But with the help of your primary care provider and a dedication to managing the disease at home, you should be able to reduce your risk of subsequent health issues and potentially even reverse some of the effects of diabetes.