More than 10% of the population in the United States has diabetes — and this statistic doesn’t take into account the tens of millions of individuals who haven’t been diagnosed yet. Type I is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin (the hormone that helps regulate sugar in the blood). Left untreated, it could lead to vision impairment, kidney damage, nerve damage, and/or heart attack.
However, the most prevalent is Type II diabetes — accounting for up to 95% of diabetes cases. It’s also the seventh leading cause of death in the country. Uncontrolled, it could cause the same health complications as Type I diabetes, in addition to fatty liver disease, stroke, and severe infections that could lead to amputation of the limbs. It is also possible to develop gestational diabetes — which typically occurs between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may disappear after the pregnancy, but may increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes in the future.
Why get diabetes screenings?
One of the factors that makes diabetes even more dangerous is that during its early stages, it doesn’t have any symptoms. Once it starts to progress, it’s common for people to experience fatigue, increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, a tingling sensation in fingers and toes, and/or darkened skin in the neck, armpits, elbow fold, and behind the knees.
The purpose of diabetes screenings is to detect the condition in the many individuals who are asymptomatic. This is especially important if you have a family history of diabetes, are overweight or obese, carry most of your weight around your abdomen, and/or have a sedentary lifestyle. The procedure involves taking a blood sample to measure blood sugar levels. A second screening on a different day may be necessary to confirm results. A screening may also indicate prediabetes. If such is the case, our nurse practitioners can help you implement lifestyle changes to prevent it from progressing to diabetes.
If you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes or are experiencing symptoms, we can help. We accept most insurances and offer financing options.