Diabetes: Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Management

Diabetes is a disease that can sneak up on you. Sometimes it doesn’t cause symptoms until you notice a sore that won’t heal, or you seem more fatigued than usual. Currently, millions of Americans are affected by diabetes and the number of cases in increasing rapidly. All that being said, you should be aware that there is help in getting this condition under control.

It is commonly known that diabetes develops when the body stops processing sugar in the blood (glucose) correctly and too much of it stays in the bloodstream. Over the course of time, excess sugar in the blood can cause major health problems such as heart disease, loss of vision, and kidney disease.

“A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming,” said Hilda Hernandez Sepulveda, who is the Coordinator of the Diabetes Center at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ. “The disease can lead to debilitating complications but with lifestyle adjustments and medications, it can be managed.”

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 typically occurs in children and adolescents but can occur at any age. Type 1 sufferers produce little or no insulin and require daily insulin injections.
  • Type 2 is commonly found in adults and accounts for nearly 90% of all diabetes cases. The body doesn’t utilize insulin well and medication is typically required over time.
  • Gestational diabetes occurs in women who are pregnant and can cause complications to both mother and child. It typically disappears after pregnancy, but women with gestational diabetes and their children are at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 later in life.

Pre-diabetes shows blood sugar levels are elevated but haven’t reached a point where medication is necessary. Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising, can help lower these levels and prevent diabetes. 

Managing diabetes

“One of the best ways to get a handle on diabetes is to see a diabetes educator who can spend time talking about all aspects of the condition, answering questions and offering tips on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle adjustments,” Hernandez Sepulveda said. “Physicians often don’t have the time to walk patients through the process after a diagnosis. We work with the patient’s doctor and help patients understand the nature of the disease and its complications.”

You can find out whether you have diabetes or pre-diabetes through a blood test called an A1C test, these are commonly conducted through your doctor’s office. Readings in the range of 5.7 to 6.4 are considered pre-diabetic and those above 6.5 are considered diabetic.  

Symptoms of diabetes may not appear early in the disease. You should consult a healthcare provider if you notice: increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, and frequent gum, skin or vaginal infections.    

Diabetes cases are increasing

More than 10% of Americans (over 34.2 million) have diabetes. Each year, an additional 1.5 million people are diagnosed. Just as concerning is that 88 million adults (more than a third of the U.S. population) have pre-diabetes. Since it symptoms may take years to develop, many people are unaware they have the disease.

The exact cause of diabetes is still unknown, but a number of factors increase the risk of developing it. They include:

  • Overweight – the more fatty tissue in the body, the more resistant cells become to insulin
  • Inactivity – physical activity helps control weight, uses up glucose and makes cells more sensitive to insulin
  • Family history – people with a parent or sibling with Type 2 have a higher risk
  • Race or ethnicity – Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian American people are at higher risk
  • Age – risk of Type 2 increases with age
  • High blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides increase the risk

“People don’t realize how dangerous diabetes can be,” Hernandez Sepulveda said. “It can affect most every part of the body, from the eyes to the feet.”

You should know that diabetes is manageable and prevention is key. By avoiding the above risk factors help keep this disease at bay. Keeping up on your overall health and utilizing various natural supplements aid in the overall prevention of many avoidable diseases.

Resvericor™, for example is an excellent way to increase your heart health, reduce antioxidants, and control your weight. These are all major factors that can cause diabetes. You can find this natural supplement at HealthMD.com and start improving your health naturally.