Diabetes mellitus is a common condition where the body has a difficult time moving glucose, a unit of energy, from the bloodstream to the cells. This occurs predominantly because insulin, the hormone that helps in this transport, is either defective (type 2/non insulin dependent diabetes) or, less commonly, not produced at all (type 1/insulin dependent diabetes). Many Americans have diabetes and don’t even know it. Abdominal obesity is a major risk factor for developing the disease. Symptoms usually include fatigue, thirst, increased urination, recurrent infection, visual changes and numbness is the hands or feet.
The real concern with diabetes are the complications that frequently occur with this disease. These include increased risk of heart attack and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, foot and leg amputation, erectile dysfunction and nerve pain, among other problems. It is critically important that everyone gets screened for diabetes with simple blood work, as the above complications can largely be prevented with appropriate therapy…Richard R Samuel, MD Family Practice and Urgent Care Hayden, ID USA