Nov 222011

9 Diabetes Risk Factors That Everyone Needs to Know About

Type 2 Diabetes affects over 18 million Americans; this is a huge number that continues to increase, as diabetes becomes an epidemic of this day and age. A larger number of Americans are also affected with pre-diabetes, a condition that can easily turn into full-blown diabetes if improper control is made. Diabetes does not only affect the United States, but it also a common disease that affects people from different parts of the globe.

Diabetes commonly occurs in middle-aged to old adults since it is an adult-onset type of disease. However, more and more cases of children and adolescents who are overweight and living in a sedentary lifestyle develop diabetes at an earlier age.

The following are major risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes:

  1. Statistics show that one in five people aged 65 and older have diabetes. Adults aged 45 years and older also have an increased risk of acquiring diabetes.
  2. Individuals who are overweight, or who have a BMI index that is greater than 25 have a higher risk of acquiring diabetes. More than eighty percent of those diagnosed with diabetes are overweight.
  3. Excess fat in the stomach area is linked to the body’s resistance to insulin, thus an increased risk in the acquisition of diabetes. Males who have waist circumference greater than 40 inches and females who have waist circumference greater than 35 inches have excess fat in their stomach area and have increased risks.
  4. If your family has a history of diabetes then there is also a high chance that you might develop the disease too. The risk factor increases as your relation to the family member with diabetes is closer.
  5. Your ethnic background is also a factor that affects your chances of acquiring diabetes. American Indians, African Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans are two and half times more prone to acquiring diabetes than Caucasians.
  6. Mothers who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes also increase their risk of acquiring diabetes in the future. Mothers who had gestational diabetes gave birth to a baby that weighs more than nine pounds. This diabetic condition occurs during the latter stages of pregnancy and goes away after birth.
  7. Those who have low levels of HDL (35 of lower) or low triglyceride levels (150 or higher) indicate that their bodies do not respond normally to insulin. This condition is known as insulin resistance, which increases the risks of acquiring diabetes.
  8. If you have a blood pressure of 140/90 or even higher, then you have an increased risk of acquiring diabetes. Having high blood pressure is closely linked to insulin resistance.
  9. Living a sedentary lifestyle will also increase your chances of acquiring diabetes as it impairs the natural ability of the cells in your body to remove sugar present in your blood. Not being able to regularly exercise at least three times a week is considered as a sedentary lifestyle.

A majority of individuals who have pre-diabetes are not aware of their condition. Without their proper knowledge, their condition is left unchecked and they will likely develop full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, it is important to take the necessary actions as soon as possible as it can be prevented. The following symptoms might help you determine whether you are suffering from diabetes:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Feeling a numbness in your legs or feet
  • Itching on your genital area
  • Blurred vision
  • Development of heart disease
  • Slow regeneration of damaged skin and gums
  • Urinary infections
  • The frequent feeling of thirst and the need to urinate

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advised that you get yourself checked to be sure. Even though these symptoms appear due to different reasons, it really won’t hurt to make sure so you will be able to take immediate and effective action to be able to control diabetes and find the best lifestyle modifications for you to be able to reverse it.

 November 22, 2011  Add comments

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