Expert Highlights Symptoms Found to Confirm Diabetes Diagnosis
EDINBURG – Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the Rio Grande Valley and knowing the symptoms of the disease can save your life.
Diabetes is an increasing disease where the bodies ability to make and respond to insulin is impaired.
According to the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, one in every four people in the Valley has diabetes and the symptoms can go unnoticed for years.
Under the umbrella term, diabetes, there are two common types.
Endocrinologist, Dr. Sumyra Mehkri says Type 1 diabetes is genetic. It’s when the body does not make enough insulin to support the body.
Type 2 diabetes is where your body does not use insulin properly.
After practicing for more than 20 years, Dr. Mehkri says both types can present themselves with a multitude of symptoms or sometimes none at all.
“Some, no symptoms at all and they just come to the doctor and they tell the doctor, I need a checkup and they find out that they're diabetic,” said Dr. Mehkri. “Because we’re not aware of all these things it takes a long time and before the patient even seeks attention from a doctor he's already been diabetic maybe for the past three years.”
Dr. Mehkri says it’s important to be alert to the symptoms.
She says some of the symptoms include, “thirst, increase thirst, have a lot of hunger, feeling very tired, very fatigued, sometimes abdominal pain.”
The doctor says you should also look for a sudden change in vision, numbness in the feet or hands and headaches.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 can come with different symptoms.
“Type 1 people, because it’s a more severe kind of diabetes because they have no insulin in their bodies, they can just start with a severe abdominal pain,” said Dr. Mehkri. “They could just come as like severe infections, severe weakness, weight loss, that is Type 1.”
There are other rare symptoms of Type 1 diabetes such as sepsis, which is a severe infection throughout your body and losing consciousness.
“They have to get their eyes checked once a year, their feet checked once a year, their heart check once a year and the blood sugars checked depending on how well they’re controlled,” said the doctor.
The most common symptom of Type 2 diabetes is frequent urination, getting up two or three times to go to the restroom every 30 minutes to an hour.
Dr. Mehkri says the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the disease and know the symptoms.
Get tested for diabetes if you experience one or several of the symptoms mentioned above.
“If the symptoms are milder and they don’t feel that sick then they should come to a doctor and get checked especially if it runs in their families,” said Dr. Mehkri.
She says the challenge is education about the disease among the public.
Dr. Mehkri says if diabetes runs in your family, you should be more aware of these symptoms and visit your doctor right away if you suspect any sign of diabetes.