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Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Diabetes

There are about 18 million adults in the children in the United States that have been diagnosed with diabetes, but medical professionals estimate that there are another 5.7 million people who don’t know that they have it. And while a diagnosis of diabetes is scary, those diagnosed can stilllive normal lives. However, undiagnosed diabetes can have serious consequences like amputation, blindness, stroke and death.

The key to preventing these complications is knowing the warning signs and risk factors of diabetes so that you can get yourself or yourloved one to a doctor for an official diagnosis.

Warning signs of diabetes are caused by high blood sugar andinclude:

  • Increased thirst and hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (even if you are eating and feeling hungry)
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

While experiencing one of these symptoms does not mean youhave diabetes, suffering from multiple symptoms is a sign that you need to see your doctor.

Knowing the risk factors for diabetes is a little more difficult because researchers are not completely sure what causes diabetes.However, there are factors that increase the risk:

  • Weight- the more fatty tissue, the more resistant your cells are to insulin
  • Inactivity- increases weight, cell resistance to insulin
  • Family history- risk is increased if a parent or sibling has diabetes
  • Race- blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asians have a higher risk
  • Age- risk increases with age, though there are more children developing diabetes
  • High blood pressure- blood pressure over 140/90mm Hg increases your risk

If you or a loved one experience these symptoms or have these risk factors, see a doctor immediately. Managing your diabetes effectively starts with a proper diagnosis.