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Are You Really Diabetic?
Seven Easy Ways To Tell

Diabetes can be a silent killer. It's not uncommon for a diabetes diagnosis to come after the patient has been ill with the disease for years. By then, these patients already have nerve loss in the form of loss of eyesight, gum and kidney damage, etc. There's no cure for diabetes, but early diagnosis is important for controlling diabetes before it does serious damage.

Following are some of the ways to know whether or not you have diabetes:

  1. Weight

The #1 risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity. The more pounds you carry, the more your body resists insulin. Check a weight chart that shows normal weights compared to height and age. You need to know whether your weight may put you at risk for diabetes. Then take steps to get into the best weight range.

  1. Age

Risk for Type 2 diabetes is greater the older you get, especially past age 45. You can't change your age, but you can work on the other risk factors.

  1. Family history

Not that you can change it, of course. Even so, your doctor needs to know whether others in your family are diabetic. If your father, mother, or a sibling has diabetes, your risk is higher.

  1. Race and ethnic background

No one knows why some ethnic groups are at higher risk for diabetes than others, but you need to be more aware if you belong to any of these groups: Native American, Hispanic American, African American, Pacific Islander.

  1. Exercise

You can actually reduce your risk of diabetes by starting an exercise program and working on your weight. Any activity is better than none; however, the recommendation is 30 to 60 minutes most days. You may want to discuss this with your doctor before you embark on a new exercise program.

  1. Diet

Your risk for diabetes is increased if you eat a diet that is high in fat, calories, and cholesterol. It can lead to obesity, which is another risk factor and to other health problems. Shifting to a diabetic diet that is high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar will reduce your risk for diabetes. It's also important to watch meal portion size. Eating too much of a good thing may increase your weight.

  1. Gestational diabetes
This only occurs during pregnancy and occurs in about 4% of pregnant women. It does go away after pregnancy; however from 40 to 60 percent of women with gestational diabetes will also get Type 2 diabetes later in life.

While there's no cure for this disease, early diagnosis is important for controlling it before it becomes a serious health issue.
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