Areyou a type 2 risk?

Published on Thu, Nov 18, 2004
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Are you a type 2 risk?

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the sixth deadliest disease in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 200,000 people each year. Approximately 90-95 percent of people living with diabetes have type 2, also known as adult onset, diabetes.
“The long term effects of diabetes can be devastating and potentially life-threatening,” says Fouad R. Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the City of Hope Leslie & Susan Gonda Diabetes & Genetic Research Center in Los Angeles. “Damage to the eyes, nerves, kidneys and cardiovascular system are just some of the many problems that can result from the disease.”

Although early detection and an awareness of the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes can significantly increase the chances of successfully preventing or managing the disease, a third of the estimated 18.2 million Americans with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

Those at highest risk for diabetes include:
• People over the age of 45.
•Those with a family history of diabetes.
• People who are overweight or do not exercise regularly.
• Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
• People of African American, Latino, Native American or Asian descent
• Children who are overweight and in middle to late puberty.

Diabetes can cause a multitude of serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, skin disorders, foot problems and amputation. Fortunately following a few simple guidelines can help prevent or manage diabetes and lead to an overall healthier lifestyle. Dr. Kandeel suggests the following:
• Eat a well-balanced diet.
• Exercise regularly and shed extra pounds.
• Manage physical and mental stress factors.
• Practice good personal hygiene, including oral health, skin care, foot care and eye care.

“Watch out for common signs of diabetes, which include frequent urination and infections, unusual thirst or weight loss, excessive hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts and bruises and tingling or numbness in the hands and feet,” says Dr. Kandeel. “People exhibiting these symptoms or who think they are at risk of developing diabetes should consult their physician.”
For more information, talk to your doctor or contact the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.