Called the “silent killer” because of its easy-to-miss symptoms, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. However, more than 7 million Americans aren’t aware they have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for eight hours and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. If you don’t control blood sugar levels, you can experience diabetes symptoms, such as increased thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, slow healing sores, fatigue, irritability or blurred vision.
Early diagnosis is extremely important, because treatment can help minimize serious complications. Long-term effects include damage to the heart, nerves, kidneys, eyes and feet. Diabetes can also create complications in the mouth. You should pay close attention to your oral health and watch for symptoms.