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Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

Chances are that you or someone you know is affected by diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2002, 18.2 millions people or 6.3% of the population, had diabetes. Of those 18 million people, only 13 million have been diagnosed—that means that more than 5 million people have not, and are not controlling their disease. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the greater the risk of diabetes related complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly metabolize sugar, and as a result, the blood sugar level becomes elevated. A diabetic must take active steps to control their blood sugar. There are different types of diabetes, but all depend on regular exercise and healthy diet for regulation. Some diabetics take daily medication, either oral or insulin by form of injection or an insulin pump. Regardless of the type of diabetes that one has, good control is the key to a healthy life.

Your Risk Factors

If any of your immediate family members have diabetes, then you may be at risk. Other risk factors include obesity, being over the age of 45, having had diabetes during a pregnancy, having had a baby over 9 pounds at birth, or having been previously told you had pre-diabetes or a “touch of sugar”. There are several other risk factors that you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes

  • excessive thirst and urination
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • numbness or tingling in the extremities

Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms should seek guidance from their healthcare provider. A simple blood sugar test can be done to detect diabetes. If you are age 45 or older, you may want to have a blood sugar test done to screen for diabetes, even if you are not experiencing any of the symptoms.

For more information about LRGHealthcare's Diabetes Program, please call (603) 527-2850.