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Type 2 Diabetes: Know the Risk Factors

By Claire Kowalchik
May 20, 2015

It can catch you by surprise. Type 2 diabetes may develop gradually, and early symptoms, which can be subtle or seemingly insignificant, may easily go unnoticed or overlooked. As with any health issue, the earlier you catch and treat diabetes the better. So become a symptom sleuth. Here’s how.

Listen to your body
Several of the signs of diabetes are common experiences like thirst, hunger, dry skin, or fatigue. What’s different is the intensity or frequency of these symptoms. You need to consider whether what you’re feeling is normal for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

●Are you frequently thirsty and drinking several more glasses of water than you usually do on a daily basis?
●Has your hunger increased even though eating and exercise have stayed the same?
●Are you tired all the time?
●Do you make frequent bathroom trips to urinate, especially at night?
●Is your skin unusually dry and itchy?
●When you get a sore, does it take a long time to heal?
●Have you noticed that feeling of pins and needles or numbness in your feet--and not because they’ve “fallen asleep”?
●Has your vision become blurry?

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms of diabetes. You may have one of these symptoms, a few, or several. If you have any of them, make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss getting your blood sugar tested.

Evaluate your risk
Some people don’t experience any symptoms of diabetes until complications like high blood pressure or heart disease arise. Ask yourself if you have any of the following risk factors, which according to the American Diabetes Association, increase your odds of a diagnosis for type 2 diabetes:

●A family history of diabetes
●A history of gestational diabetes, if you are a woman
●Are overweight or obese
●High blood pressure
●A low HDL (good) cholesterol and a high triglyceride level
●Physical Inactivity
●Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone age 45 or older consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight. If you are younger than 45, are overweight, and have one or more additional risk factors from the list above, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy lifestyle (including balanced eating, physical activity and a 5-10% weight loss) can help you better manage your diabetes, prevent its complications, and live a long, healthy life! Learn about the Jenny Craig for Type 2 Diabetes program.

Related Content:
Jenny Craig Type 2 Diabetes Program
4 Steps to Take after a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
Eating Right, Exercise may Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes