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Early detection of diabetes

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Early detection and treatment of diabetes significantly decreases the risk of long term complications. Symptoms of diabetes may be mild, in its early stages, so it is best to know what to look for. Knowledge is power.

Symptoms of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, may include any of the following:

· Frequent urination

· Frequent thirst

· Frequent hunger

· Extreme, unexplained fatigue

· Blurred vision

· Slow healing cuts, bruises, wounds

· Numbness and tingling in your hands and feet

· Unexplained / unintentional weight loss

Although these symptoms may be indicative of a number of illness, you should see a healthcare provider and be tested for diabetes. Simple blood tests, done in a clinic or office setting, allows you to take control of the situation and avoid illness and related complications of untreated diabetes.

Your healthcare provider can diagnose diabetes with a variety of blood tests: a fasting blood sugar (glucose) test, a random blood sugar test, or a hemoglobin A1C test. Given a positive finding, you are then in control to make lifestyle changes to reduce your blood sugar levels and complications associated with uncontrolled diabetes.

Weight loss of 5-7% of your current body weight ( if applicable) will help return your blood sugar level to normal. Increases in activity/exercise, healthier eating, adequate sleep, and stress reduction are all ways to lower your diabetes risk, as well as improve your overall health. For more information on how to control diabetes, and not let it control you, check out your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

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