Type 2 diabetes: Recognize the symptoms and know who’s at risk

stop diabetesNovember is National Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s estimated that 86 million Americans are at risk for developing diabetes. It is a disease that can be treated, managed, and prevented with proper care and awareness. 

Type 2 diabetes is more often diagnosed, compared to type 1 diabetes. Common symptoms include:  

  • Frequent urination  
  • Increased thirst and hunger 
  • Weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Blurred vision  
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections  
  • Areas of darkened skin (in the folds and body creases) 

While anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, some have higher risk factors than others.  

  • Being overweight. One of the primary risk factors is weight. Too much fatty tissue causes cells to become more resistant to insulin.  
  • Fat distribution. People who store fat in the abdomen are at higher risk than those who store fat elsewhere, such as hips or thighs.  
  • Family history. You are at higher risk if a parent or sibling also has diabetes.  
  • Race. People of certain races, including African-American, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian American, have an increased chance of developing diabetes.  
  • Age. After age 45 the risk increases, perhaps because people may tend to exercise less and gain weight as they age.  
  • Prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where you have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not so high as to be classified as type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, the condition can progress to type 2 diabetes.  
  • Gestational diabetes. A mom who developed gestational diabetes while pregnant, or who gave birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more carries a higher risk.  

 If you have noticed any of the above symptoms or identify with one of the high risk factors, talk to your doctor about scheduling a glucose-screening test today.