In 2005, about 8.9 percent of Kentucky’s adult population had been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is the number one cause of disability for Kentuckians and the fifth leading cause of death by disease. Among the 50 states, Kentucky ranks seventh for having the highest number in the adult population diagnosed with diabetes.
The cost of diabetes in both life and medical care is alarming. In 2002 about 2.9 billion dollars was spent on treating diabetes in Kentucky. Preventing this catastrophic disease is a priority.
An estimated 40.1 percent of Kentuckians (adults aged 40 to 74) have pre-diabetes and may develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years if they do not change lifestyle habits. Identifying those at risk for diabetes is one of the keys to reducing both the disease and cost of this disease in Kentucky.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
•Frequent urination (having to go to the bathroom more often than usual for no apparent reason).
•Excessive thirst (even after drinking an adequate amount).
•Fatigue (feeling tired).
•Extreme hunger (when you normally should not be hungry).
•Unusual weight loss (not explained by dieting or increased physical activity).
•Blurred vision resulting from fluid leaking into the lens of the eye from elevated blood glucose. This condition causes the lens of the eye to swell making it unable to focus properly. This condition may occur at the onset of diabetes or during periods when blood glucose fluctuates. It passes with time or when blood glucose levels decrease.
•Dry, itchy skin.
•Tingling or numbness in feet (may be a sign of damage to the blood vessels or nerves in your feet due to undiagnosed or untreated diabetes).
These signs and symptoms may indicate diabetes (although you may have no signs and symptoms). Your health care provider is the only one who can make the diagnosis. Do not rely on symptoms only.
Commonly recognized complications of diabetes include: heart and blood vessel disease; kidney disease (nephropathy); nerve disease; skin diseases and gum or oral disease.
Diabetes Update Class
To find out what are the risk factors for diabetes and how to prevent diabetes, come to the Diabetes Update class at the Extension Office 10:30 a.m. March 2. The speaker will be Vanessa Paddy, Coordinator of the Diabetes Management Program at Hardin Memorial Hospital. She will cover what is diabetes and basic management of diabetes to prevent complications. This will include info on diet, exercise, medications and monitoring.
Another area resource for diabetes education is the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. For information on diabetes nutrition classes or the LaRue County Diabetes Support Group, contact Mechelle Coble at 1-800-280-1601, ext. 1007. The Hardin/LaRue Diabetes Coalition will meet at the LaRue County Extension Office 6-7:30 p.m. March 2. Call Coble for more information on this group.