Alarming numbers: about one in 10 Americans is diabetic, one in three is prediabetic. It’s important to watch for symptoms.
“Diabetes is definitely known to increase the risk of dementia, gum disease, dental disease and hearing loss,” said Michael Page, MD, CHI St. Alexius Health Primary Care Provider. “It has also been linked to a modest increase in certain cancer risks.”
The symptoms Dr. Page sees most often: kidney disease, heart and blood vessel disease, eye disease, foot ulcers, nerve pain and loss of nerve sensation (numbness).
He recommends testing if diabetes runs in your family and said doctors are split on screening criteria for others. “A summary of a few opinions is to screen people who have a family history, who are overweight (BMI more than 25) and between the ages of 40 to 70.” Others advise screening for anyone over the age of 45.
Treatment can vary depending on your age and other conditions. Dr. Page said with too aggressive control of blood sugar, risks to older patients include dizziness, passing out, falls, fractures and hospitalizations. “Further complicating our risk calculation is seniors being at a significantly higher risk of heart attack and stroke.”
His suggestion: work closely with your physician to bring your blood sugar numbers down and to avoid complications. “Good diet, exercise and the right medicines are usually very effective in all but the most difficult cases.”
Learn more about Diabetes Management at a given location, visit DIABETES