Ignoring Diabetes is Risky Business

(ARA) – Are you taking risks with your life without even knowing it? You may be one of the nearly 6 million Americans who have type 2 diabetes and don’t even know it. 
Diabetes affects nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States and another 57 million have pre-diabetes, a condition that places them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you don’t know the risk factors or symptoms for diabetes, you may very well be risking your life to this silent killer. 

Diabetes is a silent killer because many people can live with the disease for years and never find out that they have it until they start experiencing diabetes-related damage that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, vision problems or kidney disease. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes do not notice the symptoms because some signs of diabetes aren’t easy to recognize. Symptoms of diabetes include: 

* Being very thirsty 
* Urinating often 
* Losing weight without trying 
* Having vision problems, such as blurred vision 

Diabetes is a serious disease, but early diagnosis and treatment can help people with diabetes live healthy and active lives. A person’s risk for diabetes goes up as they get older, gain weight, or if they do not stay active. So how can you find out if you might be at risk for diabetes? Risk factors include: 

* Being overweight or obese 
* Not being physically active 
* Having a family history of diabetes 
* Having high blood pressure 
* Having diabetes during pregnancy or having a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth 
* Being older than 45 years of age 

Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. 

To find out if you or a loved one are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you can take the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Risk Test. This is a simple test that asks questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. Based on your response, you can find out whether you are at low, moderate or high risk for diabetes. 

If you find that you are at high risk for having diabetes, talk with your doctor to find out for sure. Only your doctor can determine if you have diabetes. 

To learn more about diabetes risk factors, diagnosis and treatment, or to take the Diabetes Risk Test, visit the American Diabetes Association’s Web site at www.diabetes.org or call (800) DIABETES (800-342-2383). 

Courtesy of ARAcontent