Campus News

Health Column: November is Diabetes Awareness Month

By Karly Asher, Viterbo Student Nurse

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) is too high. Your blood glucose is your main source of energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose (sugar) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. When you have diabetes, your body either can’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars in your blood to increase. Over time, having too much blood sugar stay in your bloodstream can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, or vision loss. There is not a cure yet for diabetes, but healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthy, being active, and checking blood sugars helps to keep it in check. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Early Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Hunger and fatigue: If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, this can make you more hungry or tired than usual.
  • Excessive thirst and frequent urination: Normally your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine.
  • Dry mouth and itchy skin: Your body is using fluids to urinate, less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.


Pre-diabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. In the U.S., 30.3 million adults have diabetes and one in four do not know they have the disease. Contact health services to get your blood sugar checked or for more information at 608-796-3806 or

Information courtesy of:

Diabetes. (2017, June 1). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Early Symptoms of Diabetes.

What is Diabetes? (2016, Nov. 1).