Know Your Risks

Within 9 years, over half of people living in the U.S. will have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

This means you have a 50% of getting it – if you don’t have it already. Very soon, people with “normal” (in-range) blood glucose levels will be the minority. Know Your Risks, take the survey now!

Preventing and managing diabetes is crucial to individuals, their families, our society and healthcare system.  Early detection and science-based information from a team of caring diabetes professionals are critical to staying healthy.

You have a higher risk for diabetes if any of the following hold true:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Poor diet
  • Being overweight or obese (especially around the waist)
  • 45 years of age and above
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased triglyceride levels, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholestersol, or both
  • Impaired glucose tolerance or metabolic syndrome
  • Gestational diabetes or baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth
  • African American, Hispanic American/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Belong to the sexual minority (lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Exposure to first or second-hand smoke
  • Take certain medicines, such as steroids, antiviral cocktails, or antipsychotic therapy for schizophremia and/or severe bipolar disease
  • Uninsured

Everyone over 45 needs their blood glucose checked at least every three years. Regular testing of blood glucose should begin at a younger age, and be performed more often, if you are at higher risk for diabetes.

Familiarize yourself with the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes. Sometimes the symptoms are very obvious; many times they are not.

WARNING SIGNS
Type 1 Diabetes (symptoms typically obvious)
• Frequent urination
• Excessive thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Rapid weight loss (without trying to lose weight)
• Fatigue (weak and tired)
• Irritability and mood changes
• Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms

Type 2 Diabetes (often people have no symptoms)
• Blurred vision
• Tingling or numbness in the feet or hands
• Frequent infections (skin, gum or urinary tract)
• Slow healing of cuts and bruises
• Dry, itchy skin
• Drowsiness
• Any of the symptoms listed under Type 1
Adapted from Defeat Diabetes Foundation http://www.defeatdiabetes.org/

Have you been tested for diabetes?

Do you already have it? If you are diagnosed be sure to not go it alone. Involve your diabetes care team, the bare minimum of which includes you and your support person/advocate, your primary healthcare provider and a certified diabetes educator (call 1-800-TEAMUP4 to find one in your area). Dance Out Diabetes is also here for you: when your diabetes program ends or is just getting started; when you would like the company of others who understand; when you want to move your body to great tunes. We connect fun with physically activity, reduce the isolation often experienced with this challenging condition, improve access to skilled diabetes professionals, and track your health over time – all at rock bottom prices. Really – most of our activities cost less than a trip to Starbucks!

Written by Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE (updated 5-11-11)