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Health Tip: Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
Posted: Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Written By:  Holly A. Dean
Contact:  Holly A. Dean
Contact Email:  h.dean@usp.edu
Contact Phone:  215.596.8864
 

According to The American Diabetes Association, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year. Despite its alarming popularity, many people do not know they are at risk for type 2 diabetes and are unaware of the diseases’ warning signs and severe complications.  

“Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life, but due to the increasing weight of children, we’re seeing it more in younger patients,” said Hank Schwartz, PharmD, director of community pharmacy practice experiences at University of the Sciences and a certified diabetes educator. “Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Studies show that with lifestyle changes, a person can delay or prevent the onset of this type.” 

American Diabetes Month®, celebrated each November, is dedicated to diabetes prevention. Knowledge is power and knowing the facts about type 2 diabetes can help you understand and avert the onset of this deadly disease. Dr. Schwartz identifies what you need to know: 

Assessing Your Risk: Individuals who are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes, have high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, or are in a high-risk ethnic group (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander), should ask their doctor if getting tested for diabetes is appropriate. 

Symptoms to Look For: Contact your doctor if you have any of the following type 2 diabetes symptoms: increased thirst, dry mouth, increased appetite, irregular fatigue or tiredness, frequent urination, and blurred vision.  

Prevention: Individuals, even those with pre-diabetes, can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by adopting healthy lifestyle changes, including eating a nutritious low-fat diet, maintaining an ideal body weight or body mass index (BMI), and exercising at least 30 minutes, five times a week. A healthy BMI is 19-25, 26-29 is considered overweight, and over 29 is considered obese.

“Millions of Americans are living with type 2 diabetes, but many more are unaware that they are at a high risk of developing the disease. While genetics and other factors do play a role, the inactive lifestyle and poor diet of many Americans is putting them at risk. Small steps toward health can make a big difference.”
 
 
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