Did you know that hearing impairment, itchy skin, yellow fingernails and sudden weight loss can all be signs of diabetes? Because the symptoms can be subtle or may occur late in the disease, diabetes frequently goes undiagnosed while it’s causing silent damage that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, or other serious complications.
About 32 million Americans are walking around with undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Because the threat rises with age, the ADA recommends that having your blood sugar checked every three years, starting at age 45--or at a younger age if you have risk factors, such as obesity or a family history of the disease.
Rates of diabetes have hit an all-time high, but half of those who have it are unaware of their danger, according to an alarming new report from the International Diabetes Federation. Here’s a look at red flags that may signal diabetes—or high risk for developing it. If you have any of them, ask your healthcare provider if you need a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test, a blood test the ADA calls “the gold standard” in accuracy for measuring blood sugar.
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