1. Five Signs That Could be Symptoms of Diabetes

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    The numbers are surely attention getting: nearly 7 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes. What gets less notice are the early warning signs. “If they’re not going to their doctor, if they’re not seeing their physician they’re not having those lab works, they’re not reporting their signs they could just be going along with their normal daily activities,” says Melanie Aracri, a certified diabetes educator for Lee Memorial Health System. All too often patients show up at a hospital in a health crisis and find out they have highly elevated blood sugar. New studies find 1 in 10 heart attack patients may have undetected diabetes. We’ve broken down 5 warnings signs that should get your attention. “The three classic signs of high blood sugar, we call them the three “P”s: polyphagia, polydipsia, and polyuria. Those are increased thirst, increased hunger, and increased urination,” says Aracri. It’s easy to minimize increased thirst, especially when it’s hot. And frequent urination seems to naturally follow. But experts say it could be our body’s way of flushing extra glucose. “The kidney has to work really hard to get that blood sugar out, that blood glucose out when it’s high,” says Aracri. Wounds that don’t heal could be another warning sign. “The body’s not able to fight that infection because of that extra glucose in the system,” says Aracri. Frequent yeast or urinary tract infections may also be a red flag many people fail to consider. The earlier diabetes is picked up, the easier it is to avoid complications. “it’s a learning how to adapt your eating pattern, your meal plan to your lifelong activities and daily habits,” says Aracri. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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    • Detecting Type 1 Diabetes

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      Julian Spencer is like most boys his age. The nine year old from Naples has boundless energy. “I play baseball and football and I want to play basketball,” says Julian. But there is something that threatened Julian’s wellbeing. “It says my name and the Type 1 diabetes and the medical stuff I use,” says Julian. About two years ago, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. “He was using the bathroom a lot; he was consuming tons of water. So we immediately made an appointment at the doctors and he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes,” says Chris Spencer, Julian’s dad. Symptoms often come on slowly- so parents may not notice until their child is in crisis. Dr. Cayce Jehaimi is with Golisano Children’s Hospital and is Julian’s specialist. “The classic presentation, the child is so dehydrated that they have to go to the ICU to receive fluid therapy and IV insulin,” says Dr. Cayce Jehaimi, pediatric endocrinologist with Lee Memorial Health System. Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes, because it often appears in childhood. An autoimmune disease, people either don’t make or don’t properly utilize insulin. That’s the hormone the body uses to turn sugar into fuel. “Over time that coincides with a gradual increase of blood sugar level and that's when you expect the child to become symptomatic. Drinking a lot, peeing a lot, loss of weight despite an increase in appetite and tiredness,” says Dr. Jehaimi. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, Julian quickly bounced back. “We didn’t realize how much weight he had lost. He had dark circles under his eyes, we didn't really notice, but once he got healthier you could see the glow come back. The irritability from the high blood sugar was now obvious,” says Jennifer Spencer, Julian’s mom. Based on simple symptoms, many doctors are now able to diagnose diabetes in the office through glucose testing. Provided parents pick up the clues. “We started thinking back to prior weeks and realizing there were signs, but we didn’t know what to look for,” says Jennifer. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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