Sixteen million Americans have diabetes, but a third are unaware they have it.
A diabetic has too much blood glucose, or sugar, because the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. Too much glucose weakens cells and can eventually damage eyes, nerves, kidneys, and the heart and circulatory system.
Today, people can get good help diagnosing and managing diabetes – and live long, healthy lives. Teams comprised of physicians, dieticians, dentists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, pharmacists, and others can provide counsel, therapy and medications. Diabetics can also reduce health risks by managing weight, controlling diet, taking medications, exercising, stopping smoking, reducing stress, and staying positive mentally.
If Something’s “Wrong”
Diabetics learn to stay in close touch with their bodies. When something doesn’t “feel right,” they get help immediately. After a 46-year-old diabetic male died from a major infection, his family won a malpractice verdict. His doctor failed to order blood tests or emergency room treatment, even though the patient reported high fever, low blood pressure, rapid pulse, and back pains.