Are you at a risk of diabetes - symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment

Are you prediabetic? Does your lifestyle put you at a high risk of diabetes? How do you know you have diabetes? Is there a way to prevent diabetes? Is there a special diabetic diet? What foods can a diabetic eat? Get answers to all these questions.

You probably haven't gone for a screening yet, and possibly do not know if you are at risk for Type II diabetes. Most people delay going for a health check-up until it's too late. Please know that diabetes is not something that can be cured. If you contract the disease it's there for life. You'll only be able to control it through diet, exercise and medication. It will not go away.

Are you at a risk of getting diabetes

This is a questionnaire that determines your risk factor. It is not a fool proof test, so, you will still have to run through some tests to confirm if you are in the clear or not.

What gender are you?

  • Female (0)
  • Male (1)

What is your age?

  • Under 40 (0)
  • Between 40 & 49 (1)
  • Between 50 & 59 (2)
  • 60 and above (3)

Did you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do your parents or siblings have diabetes?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you suffer from hypertension?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Is your cholesterol level normal, medium or high?

  • Normal (0)
  • Medium (1)
  • High (2)

Have you been diagnosed with heart disease?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Have you been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Did your pregnancy result in gestational diabetes?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Did you deliver a heavy baby, weighing over 9lbs?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you sleep too much (more than nine hours) or too less (less than six hours)?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you smoke?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (0)

Do you eat 5 or more helpings of fruits and vegetables a day?

  • Yes (0)
  • No (1)

Does your diet comprise mainly of foods that are processed, refined and deep fried?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Are you over-weight or obese?

  • Check and online tool to determine if you weigh more than you should

Add the points displayed within the parentheses next to your responses. If your score is five or more you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. You need to see a doctor and get yourself tested.

If reports are to be believed then diabetes has become quite an epidemic. More and more people are testing positive for diabetes. It is a lifestyle disease and here are answers to a few questions that most people have about the disease –

Can the risk for type II diabetes be reduced?

The answer to that is yes. Since it's primarily a lifestyle disorder it's easy to reduce the risk. You can do the following to cut down the risk of diabetes –

  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthy

If you suffer from hypertension and/or high levels of cholesterol then you are at a higher risk. Take steps to control these two conditions, as well.

Does diabetes have any symptoms?

Diabetes can sometimes be a silent disease, where the patient remains unaware that they have the disease. However, there are a few indications that signal diabetes –

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Excessive urination, particularly at night
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Numbness or sudden tingling in the feet and hands
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts, wounds and bruises that do not heal quickly

Is there a cure for diabetes?

It is believed that diabetes cannot be cured, though it is possible to prevent and delay it. There is a simple formula which involves eating healthy foods that have a low Glycaemic Index (GI) and exercising regularly. Those who suffer from the condition can also benefit from this formula. They will though need to continue medication in addition to making lifestyle changes.

Learn to read the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes is of three types and all of them have to do with blood glucose and insulin
  • Type I Diabetes:

    This type of diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder. It is also referred to as juvenile diabetes and affects mostly children and young adults. The condition occurs when the immune system resists the beta cells that produce insulin, in the pancreas. Type I patients are required to take medication every day as it can cause diabetes-induced coma and the condition can also be fatal. The most common symptom of Type I diabetes is unexplained weight loss
  • Type II diabetes:

    This form of diabetes is what most people suffer from. There are estimates that out of all the diabetic patients in the world, roughly 90% have Type II diabetes. In this condition, the body is unable to utilise the insulin it produces. The main reasons for Type II diabetes is sedentary lifestyle, obesity, old age and genetic disposition.
  • Gestational Diabetes:

    Common during pregnancy, this type of diabetes develops due to the fluctuating hormones and a drop in insulin production. The condition normally lasts the duration of the pregnancy and disappears once the child is delivered. There are no tell-tale signs when a pregnant woman has diabetes. It can only be detected during the prenatal checkup. However, women who have gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing the disease at a later stage

Are you prediabetic

Before determining whether you are prediabetic or not it is relevant that you understand what the term implies.

Prediabetes is a term that indicates a condition where the blood glucose levels are slightly above normal, but not sufficiently high to indicate diabetes. Glucose is a type of sugar used by the body, for energy. The body needs a specific amount of sugar, and too much of it in the bloodstream can be severely detrimental to health. Moderately high blood glucose levels can turn into full blown diabetes if left unchecked.

People with prediabetes do not report any symptoms. This makes an annual medical check-up that tests blood glucose levels significant. Anyone who has slightly raised blood glucose levels is at risk of developing Type II diabetes. It is in their interest that they make lifestyle changes to nip the disease in the bud.

Prevention is better than cure

Anyone who has been diagnosed with signs of prediabetes can fight the disease by making small, but significant changes in their daily life. These changes help in preventing diabetes, as well as other lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, kidney disease, stroke and cardiovascular disorders. It's a small step towards a healthier life.

Begin by making changes in what you eat. The right foods, in the right quantities, can go a long way in preventing disease. Healthy foods in a diabetic diet come from natural sources. Shed weight through exercise and healthy means and get to a near-normal weight. Focus on reduction of belly fat; a waistline that measures more than 36" puts you at high risk.

Implications of diabetes

Excess amounts of glucose in the blood, in the form of sugar, can create serious health issues, such as blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, dental disease, stroke and amputations of the toes and digits and limbs. So take care, and take control of your health.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 547 articles authored by Juana

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