There are simple steps you can take to decrease your risk of diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 8 percent of the population suffers from diabetes, which is the 7th leading cause of death in the country. Here are things you can do to help lower your risk:
• Understand what diabetes is. Type 1 diabetes, most often diagnosed in children and young adults and also referred to as juvenile diabetes, is when a person’s body doesn’t produce insulin. It comprises only approximately 5 percent of all diabetes cases. The much more common type 2 diabetes is when a person’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin or his or her body is resistant to insulin.
• Know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They include being over the age of 45, having a family member(s) with diabetes, being overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle, having low HDL cholesterol or elevated triglycerides, having high blood pressure, having had gestational diabetes, and having birthed a baby who weighed 9 pounds or more. Note that Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Native Alaskans are at greater risk for diabetes than other ethnic groups.
• See your doctor. Get regular check-ups and diabetes screenings as your doctor recommends.
• Recognize the signs of diabetes. While some people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms, others experience excessive thirst, frequent urination, strong hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, infections, a tingling feeling in their extremities or other problems.