Diabetes is one of the diseases that is creating a lot of havoc in the delivery of healthcare today. The International Diabetes Federation 2019 estimated approximately 463 million people were living with diabetes at the compilation of the 9th edition of their diabetes atlas. Half of this number is living with diabetes and don’t even know it. We seem to be losing the battle in the fight against diabetes even though there are warning signs that indicate impending diabetes which taken in hand in time can prevent the onset of this degenerating disease. Here are some of those risk factors to look out for in diabetes.
- Age – Just growing older put you at risk for developing diabetes. Attaining the age of 40 puts you at risk automatically. This being so it is only wise to start screening periodically from this age for diabetes.
- Genetics – Research has shown that there is a close association with developing diabetes if one or more of your close relatives has a history of diabetes. This means that if your mother, father, or sibling has diabetes your chance of having diabetes increases.
- Ethnicity – persons of certain ethnic groups are more prone to developing diabetes. People of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic descendants are more at risk for diabetes than other ethnic groups.
- Weight – persons who are overweight or obese are at risk due to insulin resistance which prevents insulin from doing the work of breaking down the blood sugar level in the blood
- Inactivity – persons who exercise less than 3 times a week are at increased risk
- Women that give birth to a child 9 lbs and over and women who had gestational diabetes are also at risk of developing diabetes later in life.
- Persons diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries or Metabolic Syndrome are at risk for insulin resistance which eventually can lead to diabetes
- Acanthosis Nigricans is also a sign that the body is beginning to have challenges with handling glucose (see picture)
- Stress – Stress is a major contributor to the development of diabetes. Apart from everyday worries and troubles, stress can be from not getting enough sleep or even getting ill.
What can be done?
- Recognize that you are at risk
- Make a decision to fix it
- Develop a regular exercise program that will include at least 150 minutes of mild to moderate exercise every week.
- Eat a healthy diet
- If overweight or obese work towards losing between 5 to 7 percent of your present weight
Oh yes, this, you may say is easier said than done. Of course, you are right. Because achieving this requires the right kind of mentoring and coaching. We at (AMCEC) Annie’s Memorial Chronic Disease Education Center are trained to give the kind of support you need to prevent the onset of diabetes and help you to live a happy healthy life. Visit us at amcec.net to take your free diabetes assessment and book an appointment with our diabetes educator and let’s work towards diabetes prevention strategies that would suit your needs.