Signs and Symptoms
BY now, you have determined how much at risk you and your family are for diabetes. It is hoped that you will begin, with the help of the later chapters in this book, to alter those factors you can change.
But in your determination to prevent diabetes, do not ignore the very real possibility that problems may still lie ahead for you or your loved ones. Just as heredity does not give you a 100 percent guarantee of developing diabetes, changes made at this point in your life are not a 100 percent guarantee that the disorder will not surface, though in a milder form than you might otherwise have suffered. If you have a history of the disease in your family, you should be especially alert to the range of signs and symptoms that may signal impending diabetes or may be the first evidence of the disorder.
Right now, about 14 million people in the United States have diabetes. But only half of these people know that they have it. The rest may go for years without being diagnosed, because the symptoms can be subtle or they can appear to be a different problem altogether. In the meantime, the disease may be upsetting other systems in the body.
Any symptoms should be brought to your doctor's atten