According to the CDC approximately 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, with approximately 8 million going undiagnosed. Those that live with diabetes have the ability to live long, full lives if they take a positive and proactive approach.
Risk Factors of Diabetes
Some of the risk factors of becoming diabetic you can manage in order to decrease your risk; while others you have no control over. Either way, you do have control over how you handle having diabetes and learn to enjoy life despite dealing with the disease.
- Family History of Diabetes – you are at increased risk if you have a family history of Type I Diabetes or those being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – being inactive increases your risk of many health issues, including diabetes. Even a minimal attempt to be active can benefit your health.
- Gestational Diabetes – if you had diabetes during a pregnancy this does make you more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes later in life. You are also at a higher risk if you’ve birthed a baby 9 lbs or larger.
- Race/Ethnicity – Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, & Asians have a higher than average risk of becoming diabetic.
- Being Overweight – being overweight (especially in the waist area) increases your risk of diabetes greatly; basically because of poor diet choices, most likely combined with a lack of exercising.
- Abnormal Cholesterol & Blood Fats – your HDL & triglycerides numbers can be a warning sign of diabetes. If your “good” cholesterol or HDL levels are under 35 and/or your triglycerides over 250mg/dL this puts you at greater risk.
- Age – those 45 and older have a higher risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. However, there has been an increase in children being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes due to childhood obesity & lack of exercise.
The best way to not have to ever deal with Type 2 Diabetes is to act now, before you are diagnosed; changing your lifestyle with the help of others who can work with you to improve your diet, help you become more active, and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 Diabetes actually represents up to 95% of all diabetes diagnosed. As many as 1 in 3 people who have Type II Diabetes don’t even know they have it because there aren’t always symptoms. However, there can be symptoms that are often overlooked.
- Increased Thirst
- Dry Mouth
- Increased Hunger
- Frequent Urination (every hour or less)
- Slow Healing Cuts/Sores
- Unsubstantiated Weight Gain or Loss
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Blurred Vision
Tips For Living a Full Life With Diabetes
- Healthy Diet – A healthy diet is important and can often play an important role to reversing Type II Diabetes in many cases. We may find ourselves unable to cook healthy meals regularly but there are options to cooking healthy meals and snacks for ourselves; having a professional caregiver to help cook meals & buying healthy but easy to prepare foods can help.
- Exercise – An important role in both prevention and management of diabetes, exercise is vital to not only helping control your insulin levels but in preventing other health issues that come with having diabetes.
- Focus on Fun – Instead of focusing social functions around eating, drinking & being less active have fun with events that get you up and moving (a tennis match, a game of charades, anything that gets you up and moving). If you must have food, have small portioned healthy options available.
- Healthy Snacking – Eating healthy snacks & portioned healthy meals is key to keeping your insulin levels regulated.
You can have a full life while dealing with diabetes. The first step is to make a promise to yourself that you are worth making the effort to take control of your health. Let Caring Connection help you make life easier and healthier when you’re living with diabetes.
Photo by JSmith Photo