Many people have diabetes and don't know it - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Many people have diabetes and don't know it

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)

During a routine physical, Joel Weinbaum's doctor was reviewing previous blood tests. 

"He said considering the data and the previous recordings of my blood condition, I guess, is that he was declaring me a diabetic - and it was quite a shocker," Weinbaum said. 

That diagnosis led to specific goals. "The idea was first to get my weight down, which I did. I dropped 20 pounds, and the next 20 is not going tt be so easy," he said. 

He says he eats more high-fiber foods. And he is trying to exercise in lieu of insulin. 

"It's a constant paying attention to the things that are essential to staying healthy," he said. 

So is it possible to be a diabetic and not know it? We asked family medicine physician Dr. Jeb Hornsby. 

"Yes, absolutely, it can be - depending on how bad it is," the doctor replied. "We feel like most of the time it is a slow progression." 

While there are different types of diabetes, he says adult-onset diabetes is becoming more common. But Hornsby says the patient must follow doctor's orders. 

"It can be pretty easy to control if the patient is motivated and will do what they need to do. It just takes some lifestyle changes. So it becomes difficult if you are not willing to change what you're eating and not willing to try to exercise." 

There are symptoms you need to know, like one Joel experiences.

"If I eat starchy foods, after about an hour or so, I will experience dry mouth," he said. 

Dr. Hornsby says that's symptomatic of a diabetic. 

"If you notice that you're thirsty all the time, especially if you haven't been outside and getting hot and sweaty this time of year. But even on a daily basis, you've always got to have something to drink. And on the flip side of that, if you're always having to go to the restroom, you're urinating a lot, especially at night. That's one big thing to look at."

He says there can also be an increase in yeast infections all over the body and in the mouth. 

If you have concerns about any of these symptoms, it's time to pay a visit to your family physician.

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