Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease impacting millions of Americans. This disease means the body doesn’t know how to use the insulin it produces or it doesn’t make enough.
Diabetes Type 2 Risk Factors
You learned last week that many of my close family members have been impacted by the disease and I’m trying to battle it off. If you’re wondering about being at risk, here’s a list of risk factors:
- People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). I guess I’m a yes on this one now as my fasting glucose is always above 100; just not at the level for diabetes fortunately.
- People over age 45. Nothing anyone can do about age; it’s better than the alternative!
- People with a family history of diabetes. Yep, I’m at high risk with this one!
- People who are overweight. This is definitely my fault and unfortunately a risk factor for me.
- People who do not exercise regularly. The only exercise I like to do is walk. It’s time to start up again but I’ve been a little gun-shy because of the piriformis injury. I’m going to start back up now and just take heed of any pain right away versus letting it become as debilitating as last time.
- People with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure. Can’t a girl catch a break? I’m hitting the trifecta here!
- Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives). Here’s one that I’m not at risk for but my kids are hispanic so unfortunately they have this risk factor.
- Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth. My grandmother, mother and I all had babies that weighed over nine pounds. In retrospect, I think it was gestational diabetes but I never told the doctor my symptoms.
Diabetes Type 2 Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes normally takes a long time to develop but if you pay close attention you may notice the following symptoms:
- Increased hunger. This is because there’s not enough insulin to get the energy to your organs and muscles.
- Increased thirst. Too much sugar in your blood pulls fluid from the tissues which may cause thirst.
- Weight Loss. Yes, I know one of the risk factors is being overweight but the body can turn to the muscles and fat to get energy since it’s unable to metabolize the sugar in the blood.
- Fatigue. Of course, you’ll be tired without enough energy from the sugar.
- Blurred Vision. If the fluid is pulled from your lenses it impacts the ability to see.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. My sister reported this symptom. Diabetes lowers your body’s ability to fight infection.
If you have any of these symptoms or are concerned about your risk factors be sure to talk or visit to your health care provider. You might not be able to entirely prevent diabetes type 2, but the longer a person can delay getting it the better for their long term health.
How has diabetes type 2 impacted you?