Diabetes: Here’s Why You Should Get Tested NOW

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and debilitating chronic disease of modern society. One in Three (!) Americans has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Tens of millions of Americans are prediabetic or in early stages of type 2 diabetes and don’t even know.

Do you know if you’re one of them?

There are several misconceptions about diabetes that we’d like to dispel:

Misconception # 1: Nothing can happen to me, I feel great!

FACT: Dangerous complications are often the FIRST visible sign of diabetes.

Some people show no symptoms of diabetes until a complication such as kidney disease arises. Some of these complications can be fatal if left untreated! Don’t let a complication from diabetes be the first time you discover you’ve got diabetes. Get tested.

Misconception # 2: There’s nothing you can do once you get diabetes. . . might as well enjoy life and not worry!

FACT: You can prevent diabetes from developing and slow its progression.

If you have prediabetes, you can prevent it from developing into diabetes by changing your diet and adding regular exercise to your routine. Proper lifestyle adjustemnts can help delay the need for expensive insulin.  The sooner you find out, the better your chances are at avoiding or delaying the need for medication.

Misconception # 3: Quality of life with diabetes is very low.

FACT: People living with diabetes can live a normal life!

Luckily, diabetes is treatable through diet, lifestyle and/or medication. There’s no easy answer on what to do for each individual case, however without knowing what your situation is (i.e. getting tested) you may have a very treatable condition that goes untreated. The longer it is left untreated, the more difficult it may be to live a normal life!

Misconception # 4: My health problems aren’t related to diabetes . . . they’re just health issues.

FACT: Many health issues are in fact related to diabetes.

Diabetes can show itself in so many different ways; it’s worth finding out if you have diabetes to see if it is causing other problems such as recurring infections, impaired vision or numbness in your hands or feet.  Other conditions that seem age-related, like bladder control problems for women or erectile dysfunction for men could be a related to diabetes. Health conditions that are a result of diabetes will not go away until the diabetes is addressed. And if you don’t have diabetes, great, you can eliminate it as a cause and move on with your treatment.

The test for diabetes is simple and many areas have FREE diabetes testing at pharmacies, community centers and hospitals. For yourself, for your family, and for your loved ones – get tested!

Do you have diabetes or prediabetes? Try our Diabetes app for iPhone.

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  • BrianN

    My friend’s four-year old was recently diagnosed with Type 1 – completely out of the blue, really. I do wonder if Type 1 is actually a bit of a mixed blessing in that now she’ll be forced to be more diet-conscious throughout her life and whether she’ll perhaps grow up more healthily since she’s cutting a good deal of the processed garbage out of her diet?

    Yes, I’m writing this with absolutely no basis for knowing anything about Type 1 diabetes…so please don’t rail into me too much for my potential ignorance. :)

    • Shannon

      Brian, Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disorder that is completely different than type 2 and has nothing to do with diet. Proper diet and exercise will not cure it or keep it under control. Your friend’s daughter will be dependent on insulin for the rest of her life. In no way is this a blessing. My daughter wishes she had type 2 because she could change it with exercise and diet. It is hard to see type 2′s that continue bad habits. One lady told my daughter if she (the lady) just changed her diet that she wouldn’t have to take insulin at night anymore. My 5 year old for days thought if she just ate better (and she has always eaten well), she wouldn’t have to take insulin either.

      In type 1, the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It comes out of the blue because the symptoms of Type 1 do not appear until there are only approximately 10% of the cells remaining.

      In type 2, the body has become resistant to the insulin that the body produces. Diet and exercise may be all you need to treat diabetes. Left untreated, type 2 diabetics may need medication.

      I won’t rail on you because type 1 only accounts of 10-15% of the cases. It is really sad that most people don’t know the difference. I would only encourage you to become informed of the differences to be supportive of your friend. Trying to control your child’s diabetes can be mentally and physically exhausting, not to mention what it does to a child with type 1. Getting up at 3 a.m. to check your child’s blood glucose levels because you are afraid that they may go into a hypoglycemic coma is a reality for parents of a Type 1 diabetic.

      • CookieWookie

        Shannon,
        You go girl! I too thought Diabetics could not eat SUGAR! Ha! I learned quickly how ignorant I was. A year ago when I was living in Italy, my son was diagnosed with T1. 1% of the hospital did not speak english or any written info and no internet.
        Everyday and into the nite I am learning. He can eat anything he wants…and as before making sure it is balanced and includes all the food groups. Not having a choice to be insulin dependent for life STINKS. They should call it something else…for 99% of the world thinks my son cannot eat a Krispy Kreme or a muffin…so a lifetime of “Oh I thought…..”

        Great explaination for Brian and 99% of e world. Thank you….and you are a rock star Mom. Happy Mothers Day