Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to diabetes. Complications of diabetes kill more Americans yearly than cancer and AIDs combined. In Ecuador and Latin America, diabetes has increased dramatically over the past three decades.
Take this quick quiz to assess your personal risk for diabetes. It will take only a minute, and give you some valuable insight into your health.
1) Are you …?
Males have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes
2) Do you have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes?
A family history could increase your risk for type 2 diabetes
3) Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure?
People with high blood pressure were found to have a 50%-70% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
4) Are you older than 45?
The older you are, the higher the chance of getting type 2 diabetes, but diabetes is not a “normal” part of aging, mostly because older people tend to lose muscle mass and gain weigh as they age. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is increasing significantly among children, adolescents and younger adults due to the increase in overweight and obesity, and decrease in regular activity in all of these groups…around the world.
5) If you are from North America, are you Hispanic American, African American, Native American or Asian American?
The burden of diabetes is much higher for racial/ethnic minorities than for whites. Minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes than whites, and some have a higher rate of complications from diabetes and death. In Ecuador, diabetes is listed as the 6th most common cause of death, but as in other countries, coronary heart disease and stroke are number 1 and 2, and kidney disease and hypertension are high on the list too: these killers are complications of untreated or poorly treated diabetes.
6) Are you overweight or obese?
Being overweight is a primary risk factor developing type 2 diabetes: the more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. However, you may not be overweight and still develop type 2 diabetes, but it’s less common.
7) Where do you store your fat?
a) Around your middle (belly fat)
b) Around your hips and thighs
If you carry most of your excess fat around your middle, your risk for type 2 diabetes is higher.
8) Are you …?
a) Physically active
b) A couch potato
Exercise is a critical component of a health lifestyle, for cardiovascular health and to lower risk for diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps maintain an optimal weight. Resistance training (not necessarily weight training, but working out with exercise bands) also helps with insulin resistance.
9) If you are a woman, have you had gestational diabetes or PCOS?
Gestational diabetes and/or giving birth to a baby weight more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms) increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth and obesity — increases risk for type 2 diabetes.
10) Is pre-diabetes reversible?
Yes! If detected early, pre-diabetes can be reversed. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and with weight loss/diet and regular activity you can stop the progression. Read my column on preventing diabetes here.
Get more information about diabetes.
No te pierdas la Feria “Hábitos de Vida Saludable” y nuestro “XI Encuentro del Paciente con Diabetes y su Familia”. Este sábado 12 de noviembre a partir de las 09h30 estaremos en el Parque de la Madre celebrando el Día Mundial de la Diabetes con música, danza y muchas otras actividades para pacientes con diabetes. Brindaremos un almuerzo saludable gratuito, exámenes médicos preventivos, Fondo OJO para pacientes con diabetes y educación en hábitos de vida saludable. ¡RECUERDA VESTIR DE AZUL! 🙂
BE SURE TO WEAR BLUE! For World Diabetes Day 2016: this year’s theme is “Eyes on Diabetes”.
Come On Out for the 6th Annual Healthy Habits for Healthy Life fair, sponsored by Casa de la Diabetes. As the World Health Organization notes the number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980, and the increase of obesity and overweight people mostly affects low- and middle-income countries, but consider the risk factors, and take charge of your health.
When? This Saturday November 12, beginning at 9:30
Where? Parque de la Madre
Why? Free screenings, food, fun, games!
How much? FREE!
Sources: American Diabetes Association. Blood glucose control and exercise. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
CuencaHighLife.com. Is there a cure for diabetes? https://www.cuencahighlife.com/is-there-a-cure-for-diabetes/ MayoClinic.org. Type 2 diabetes: Symptoms and causes. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/dxc-20169861
NHS Choices. High blood pressure: does it lead to diabetes? http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/10October/Pages/high-blood-pressure-does-it-leads-to-diabetes.aspx
World Health Organization: 10 facts on diabetes. http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/diabetes/en/
Susan Burke March, a Cuenca expat, is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in smart solutions for weight loss and diabetes-related weight management. She is the author of Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally — a fun and informative book intended to liberate serial dieters and make healthy living and weight control both possible and instinctual over the long term. Contact her at SusantheDietitian@gmail.com