Collin County Living Well Magazine November/December 2017 - Page 48

Psst… You Could Have Courtesy Baylor Scott & White Health T he symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often subtle, which might explain why so many people in the U.S. don’t know they have the disease. A whop- ping 8.1 million Americans have undiagnosed dia- betes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their bodies don’t use insulin properly, leading to too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, putting them at risk for potentially devastating complications, in- cluding high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease and loss of limbs. “Diabetes can cause a lot of issues throughout the body,” says Donald Wesson, MD, MBA, senior vice president of Baylor Scott & White Health Weight Management Services and named president of Baylor Scott & White Health & Wellness Institute at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center. “We can certainly prevent or delay the issues, but it’s imperative we identify them early. The interventions we have available offer the best chances of success when used early on.” 46 COLLIN COUNTY Living Well Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Ideally, diabetes is diagnosed by detecting high blood sugar before symptoms begin to appear. This is done with a sim- ple fasting blood sugar test. Everyone should be screened for diabetes starting at age 45, but you should talk to your doctor about starting sooner if you are overweight, have a close relative with diabetes, have high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels, had gestational diabetes (dur- ing pregnancy) or are inactive. Also, pay attention to your body and alert your physi- cian if you have any of the following five common dia- betes symptoms. 1. INCREASED URINATION. The blood can only accom- modate so much excess sugar before it expels it through the urine. “Increased urination is typically the first symptom people have,” Dr. Wesson says. “As diabetes gets more advanced, the body is trying to get rid of the increased sugar, and so it’s making a whole lot of urine.” And be-