Diabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, is a major health concern in America as well as other parts of the world. If you are in the habit of incorporating a lot of sugar into your diet, you may be putting yourself at risk for developing diabetes. There are several other factors that could increase your risk of developing this potentially life and limb-threatening disease.
- Being overweight/obese: This is the #1 risk factor for developing diabetes in adults.
- Family history: If anyone in your family has diabetes, the chances are you may get it too.
- Sedentary lifestyle: If you do not exercise regularly (less than 3 times a week) and you work at a desk job, you have a high risk of developing diabetes.
- Age: If you are above the age of 45, are overweight, and have signs and symptoms of diabetes, you should consult your doctor about being screened for diabetes.
- Pancreatic disease: Any disease or illness that affects your pancreas can slow down the production of insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.
- Ethnic background: Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans are at a higher risk for developing diabetes than Caucasians.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
- Pregnancy: About 4% of pregnant women may develop diabetes. The condition is termed as gestational diabetes. If left untreated, this condition may adversely affect the unborn child and persist after the pregnancy.
Some common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, chronic tiredness, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, slow-healing wounds, or sudden unexplained weight loss. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment is the best way to halt the damaging effects of diabetes on your body.