November 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
- 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.