Know Your Risks of Diabetes Today and Everyday

March 22, 2016 has been designated by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as an Alert Day, a wake up call, to the risk of diabetes, particularly each individual’s personal risks for developing the chronic illness.

Given the seriousness of diabetes and its epidemic prevalence in the United States and other Westernized nations, diabetes mellitus deserves more than one alert each year. Diabetes is an illness that can affect your health in numerous ways in addition to that of your blood sugar level.

Diabetes Numbers Across the Globe 

Diabetes is a global concern

The United States and other Western nations around the world are facing increasing numbers of people with diabetes, numbers that have increased as the rates of obesity in those same countries have increased.

 

The problem of the rise in diabetes diagnoses isn’t limited to the United States. Here’s a glimpse of statistics from around the globe:

  • Australia: Approximately 1.7 million people in Australia have diabetes, with 280 people/day developing the disease there. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia.
  • United Kingdom: Approximately 3.5 million people in the U.K. have been diagnosed with diabetes, approx. 3 million of whom live in England; nearly 300,000 live in Scotland; over 180,000 live in Wales and more than 80,000 people in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with diabetes. Another half million people in the U.K. are thought to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.
  • Canada: 3.4 million people, more than 9 percent of the total population, have diabetes. Another 5.7 million people age 20 years and over have prediabetes, representing just over 22 percent of the population.
  • United States: In 2010, the United States had nearly 26 million people with diabetes. In 2012, that number increased to over 29 million people. In 2010, the United States had 79 million people age 20 years and older with prediabetes. In 2012, that number swelled to 86 million.

Diabetes is an insidious chronic disease that can damage your kidneys and eyesight before you’re even aware you have it. Knowing your risk factors for developing diabetes in addition to regular health care will help you recognize the disease in its early stages.

Related News: NHS England Deploying Personal Trainers on the War Against Diabetes

You can take the diabetes risk test developed by the ADA to learn your individual risk or consider the following factors:

  • Men are more likely than women to have diabetes and not know it, perhaps because many men see a doctor less regularly than do many women
  • Women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are twice as likely as other women to later develop type 2 diabetes
  • If you have a parent or sibling who has diabetes, it could increase your risk of developing the disease
  • High blood pressure increases your risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • The older you are, the greater your risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically inactive can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • People with high BMIs are at great risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those with lower BMIs

Lowering Your Risk for Developing Diabetes

As the rate of obesity has climbed in the United States and elsewhere, so has the rate of diabetes. You cannot control the risk factors associated with diabetes such as your age, sex or family history, but you can gain control over your eating habits and level of physical activity.

Working toward obtaining and maintaining a weight within normal limits by eating a nutritionally adequate and balanced diet and getting regular, moderate physical activity may help you avoid developing diabetes. Obtaining and maintaining a health weight coupled with regular physical activity may also help to reduce your blood pressure, another risk factor associated with the development of diabetes.


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