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About 37 million people in the United States have with diabetes, a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. The most common is Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn't make enough insulin, putting them at risk for life-threatening complications. Another 96 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic, meaning their glucose (sugar) levels are elevated, and they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The common signs of Type 2 diabetes mellitus – frequent urination and excessive thirst – are often recognized, but there are more subtle warnings of the disease that can sneak up on us.

“Many people do not know they have Type 2 diabetes mellitus until they are diagnosed, but they probably have had it for up to five years,” explains Ari Eckman, MD, medical director of endocrinology services for Holy Name. “The illness can be prevented by managing your weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and cutting back on processed foods, alcohol, sugary beverages, and trans fats.”

Six early signs include:

  1. You're going to the bathroom more often, especially at night.
  2. You're losing weight without trying.
  3. You're experiencing frequent urinary or yeast infections.
  4. Your vision is getting worse; you need a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  5. You're exhausted, affecting your everyday activities.
  6. Your skin is discolored, darker in the folds of your neck and across your knuckles.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Ari Eckman at 201-971-9001 to make an appointment to discuss your concerns or to arrange for a Type 2 diabetes mellitus screening.