Tomorrow is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day. It’s a day set aside the fourth Tuesday each March to highlight Type 2 Diabetes including it’s symptoms, the dangers of going undiagnosed, tips to prevent or stall the actual onslaught, and educate. In its simplest term, Type 2 Diabetes is an illness where the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood are too high.
I, unfortunately, am well versed in Type 2 Diabetes. I was diagnosed with it more than 15 years ago. I will explain a little of my story, but this post is mainly about tomorrow. It’s about awareness. Knowledge. Education.
The American Diabetes Association has a test that evaluates your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. It does not tell you if you have it or not, that’s something you and a health care provider need to discuss. It simply evaluates your risk. You will have answer to a few questions, nothing too personal though. To take the test click here. I took the test and my risk factor is low! I will explain. Please continue.
There are several factors that increase the risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Factors include :
- those over the age of 45
- a family history of diabetes
- being overweight
- living sedentary lifestyle
- certain ethnic and racial backgrounds
- high cholesterol and
- women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes
For me, it’s all in the genes. Both parents and two (one on each side) of my four grandparents were diagnosed with Diabetes in their lifetime. My mother was able to control it and eventually stop taking medication by diet and some exercise. My father controls his with diet, exercise, and medication. Me? I try to control it with medication, including insulin and an inject-able (a type of liquid medication that is injected directly into the skin), diet, and exercise. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at 17 years old and underweight. I didn’t play sports in high school, but I wasn’t inactive and have always enjoyed walking. I was not and have never been pregnant. My race — white — is not considered a factor, but yet, here I am: a Type 2 Diabetic.
These factors listed above weight heavily upon the end results of your Diabetes Risk Test, Because the only thing that connects me to diabetes is family history, I scored low on the risk test. I do acknowledge I cheated the test. I will admit that, but my intentions were true. I wanted to prove that just because someone may score low on this test, doesn’t mean they are in the clear. (I have it and I scored low. You see my point?) People also need to know the symptoms most commonly associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Symptoms include:
- freguent urination
- unusual thirst
- extreme hunger
- unexplained weight loss
- extreme fatigue and/or irritability
- frequent infections
- slow to heal cuts or bruises
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet and
- recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
It should be noted that most of this information is not my own. It is coming from the American Diabetes Association. There’s a ton of information available on their site and I highly recommend you visit it for further information. For ease, here is their link.
American Diabetes Association
If you scored high on the risk test and/or experience symptoms, you should speak to a health care provider. They can run a series of tests that will assist in determining the next step. Together you should discuss those option(s) with your health care provider and family. It should also be noted that I am not a health care provider. I am only sharing my story. I will be more than happy to share more of my story, but I will not give out medical advice. Medical advice should come from a professional.
Take the risk test. You may learn something new. At the very least, you will help a good cause. The American Diabetes Association has partnered with Boar’s Head and for every risk test taken from tomorrow (March 26) through April 9, Boar’s Head will donate $5 to the ADA.