Symptoms & Risk Factors of Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. And another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, we are proudly participating in American Diabetes Month.
There are two types of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is typically referred to as Juvenile Diabetes since it is usually diagnosed in Childhood. This type is characterized by an autoimmune disorder that attacks insulin in the body. Without insulin, our bodies are unable to covert sugar or glucose into energy. This can lead to various health issues as we’ll get to later in this post.
Type 2 Diabetes can be developed at any point in life from high levels of blood sugar. Over time, the body becomes resistant to insulin. The great news about type 2 Diabetes is that it is not only preventable but can even be reversed in the early stages.
So how do you know if you have diabetes? There are several warning signs and risk factors to keep in mind. Early detection is key for being able to reverse type 2 Diabetes. But with lifestyle changes in a healthy diet and physical activity, it is very possible.
Are You At Risk?
First, it’s important to know your risk factors. Are you someone who is at a higher risk than others at developing Diabetes? You can take a quick one-minute risk assessment test here.
Gender is one risk factor. If you’re a male you are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This could be related to the fact that men tend to extra weight around their middles. Obesity is the largest risk factor and responsible for over 90% of those individuals diagnosed.
Obesity is an issue, mostly because of the lifestyle habits that lead to being overweight. A sedentary lifestyle and diets high in fat and sugar are a perfect combination for diabetes. This is great news since these things are in our control to change! Simply eating more vegetables, leaner meats and reducing soda intake can go a long way in changing our bodies.
Physical activity doesn’t have to look like high-intensity circuits to achieve health. Going for thirty-minute walks a few times a week is sufficient. Look for opportunities to sneak in extra activity by parking further from the supermarket, or taking the stairs at work. These small adjustments can lead to big results in your health and reversal of pre-diabetes (People with “pre-diabetes” have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not diabetes yet).
Other risk factors include smoking, excess alcohol, family history, poor sleep habits, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. See your doctor regularly and ask them to check your blood sugar if you have concerns.
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
- Frequent Urination
- Increased Thirst
- Insatiable Hunger
- Slow-healing wounds
- Blurry Vision
- Tingling in Hands and Feet
- Frequent Yeast Infections
For more about the reasons behind these symptoms, visit the Medical News Today article that explains more. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, make an appointment with a doctor. Diabetes that is left unchecked can lead to all sorts of health complications including heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and more. Early detection is key. For more information and resources on Diabetes Month, visit our Wellness Calendar.