Diabetes: When you should be tested

Diabetes:  When you should be tested
By: Tiffany Sisson
When should an annoying health complication become a serious concern? When you suspect you could be at risk developing diabetes. Although the causes of diabetes are unknown, knowing your risk factors could save your life.
At 17-years-old, Paul Cootes, Jr. is a diabetic. "You don't take life for granted anymore," said Cootes.
Four years ago, Cootes's life started to change. "For awhile, I'd come home, fall on the couch, and just fall asleep. My dad had to wake me up," explained Cootes.
Cootes said a habit revealed an underlying disease, "I bite my finger nails all the time. I had an infection and it wouldn't heal up."
Cootes parents knew something was wrong. A series of tests revealed type two diabetes. "The warning signs are more subtle in type two diabetes," said Janet Stewart, a registered nurse at the Southeast Diabetic Center.
Cootes said you should be tested, "If you're tired and you're fatigued for a good reason, but that last more than 2 or 3 days, and you've had a good rest."
Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:

Slow-healing sores or cuts
Itching of the skin (usually around the vaginal or groin area)
Frequent yeast infections
Recent weight gain
Velvety dark skin changes of the neck, armpit and groin, called acanthosis Nigerians
Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
Decreased vision
Impotency

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include:

Increased thirst
Increased hunger (especially after eating)
Dry mouth
Frequent urination
Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
Blurred vision
Headaches
Loss of consciousness (rare)

For more information, log onto diabetes.org.