Diabetes Prevention Month
Who is at Risk for Developing Type II Diabetes?
Most people have more control than they know about preventing Type II diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, than they know. Are you or a loved one at risk? These are a few of the risk factors:
- Being overweight.
- Having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes.
- Being over 40 years old.
- Being of Native American, African American, or Hispanic descent.
- Being a woman who has had more than one baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth.
If a person has had any of the risk factors for diabetes, it is worth the effort to make diet and lifestyle changes that can prevent, and in some cases even reverse the course of Type II diabetes.
The number one thing a person can do to prevent Type II diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight interferes with the body's ability to use the insulin it produces to properly control blood sugar. High blood sugar can damage the body in many ways, such as blindness, impaired circulation and heart disease.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Symptoms of diabetes can include, but are not limited to:
- excessive thirst
- unexplained weight loss
- blurred vision
- tingling or numbness in the hands and/or feet
- increased appetite
- skin infections
Preventing Type II Diabetes
- Maintain a healthy weight and lose weight if needed.
- Get into a regular exercise program. Exercise not only makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off, it also lowers blood sugar and improves the body's response to insulin.
- Have your blood sugar levels tested, especially if you have any of the risk factors for Type II diabetes. The earlier diabetes is detected, the easier it is to control.
Screenings for Diabetics
If you are a diabetic, take time in November to make sure you are up-to-date on all of your screenings and are properly taking care of yourself.
- a dilated retinal (eye) exam
- Hemoglobin A1C test (average blood sugar)
- dental exam to check teeth and gums - tell your dentist you have diabetes
- flu shot
- urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems
- complete foot exam