Diabetes is a terrible disease, because it can affect virtually every part of your body and can go undetected for months or even years sometimes, if the symptoms are mild or are ignored because you may not like going to the doctor. Currently one in every five people will get type 2 diabetes at some time in their life.
There are numerous risk factors for type 2 diabetes, although researchers still don’t know for sure what is actually causing it. So you need to be careful and if you discover that you fall into any of the following categories, make sure you get checked regularly.
If you are carrying extra weight, that will put added stress on many of your body’s functions, and this can increase your risk of contracting diabetes. As you accumulate more fatty tissues, your cells grow resistant to insulin.
If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle, you’re also in the high risk category because that increases your weight, decreases your fitness, prevents your blood from circulating properly, and so on.
The older you get, the more likely you are to get diabetes and other medical problems. This usually happens because you don’t exercise as often as you should, it is harder to lose weight, and you are actually more likely to gain weight.
Your race can be an important factor as well. High risk races include: African Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Native Americans. If a sibling or parent has diabetes, that also increases your risk.
Other risk factors include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, prior gestational diabetes, too much alcohol, consumption of too much junk food, if you have had polycystic ovarian syndrome or metabolic syndrome, depression, high levels of anxiety and stress, and so the list goes on. The more risk factors you have, the greater the chances are that you’ll contract diabetes at some stage in your life.
If you notice anything unusual in your body, you must consult your doctor. You may get diagnosed with pre-diabetes and if you take action quick enough, you may be able to prevent yourself from contracting type 2 diabetes.
You can go into remission if you do everything your doctor tells you to, and this includes stopping all your bad habits. You may need medication and / or insulin to help control your diabetes. You will have to improve your eating habits and exercise more often too.
Diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, numbness and tingling in your extremities, depression, back pain, and a long list of other problems. Your doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist), who can give you more advice.
Only you know how you feel. Your doctor won’t ring you up and ask how you are. It is up to you to take responsibility for your health and see your doctor if you have any concerns, because taking early action is always better than waiting for a problem to get worse.