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You may not know that you are prediabetic or maybe even diabetic already, but it is a good idea to find out and quickly. The best way is to find out is through a blood glucose screening that your general practitioner can provide. The sooner you know if you are at risk, the better because there are debilitating consequences that accompany having type 2 diabetes.
Know Your Risk Factors:
First and foremost, you need to know the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes and prediabetes. A great place to locate this information through my previous article, Prediabetes: The Warning Signs and Prevention.
The more proactive you are about prevention or control of any of the symptoms or warning signs the better, and here are six reasons why you don’t want to become diabetic.
#1 - The Emotional Impact
The diagnosis of diabetes can have a profound emotional impact. People are creatures of habit, especially their lifestyle habits. The lifestyles I want to focus on include diet, exercise, and alcohol.
Most Americans are inactive. They have a poor diet consisting of low-quality, low-nutrient diets, and many people drink alcohol at least weekly. This style of living is a habit, and old habits die hard. If you find out that you are prediabetic or diabetic, these habits have to be dissolved for the most part.
This is where emotion comes in. A type 2 diabetes diagnosis can set off fear, anxiety, sadness, and many other emotions because of the “unknowns” to come. People fear change, especially lifestyle changes. For some, their quality of life is connected to their food, drinking, and their dislike of physical exercise. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
By starting the habits of a healthy life year-round, like losing weight through diet and starting regular exercise, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes decreases dramatically. If you don’t know where to begin, talk to a registered dietician for help with meals and a personal trainer for help with exercise.
#2 - Greater Risk Of Diabetic Heart Disease And Stroke
Diabetic Heart Disease, or DHD, is basically heart disease that develops in individuals who have diabetes. What is worrisome is that people who have DHD can have a more severe case of heart disease and could develop heart disease at a much younger age.
The National Institute of Health (2011) states,
People who have type 2 diabetes have the same risk of heart attack and dying from heart disease as people who already have had heart attacks.
Heart problems are scary, and connected to heart disease is the risk of stroke. National Institutes of Health (2014) states,
If you have diabetes, you are at least twice as likely as other people to have heart disease or a stroke.
Prevention is the key. Always begin with diet and exercise!
#3 - Kidney Disease
Diabetics have high blood sugar. The high blood sugar forces the kidneys work harder to filter, which is their job. Over long periods of time, this over-working can lead to kidney disease which is a long-term obstacle that can develop in diabetics.
Not all diabetics develop kidney disease, but it becomes more probable if glucose levels aren’t controlled. Kidney disease is serious because it can lead to kidney failure. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2014) states,
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases.