Understanding Your Risk of Getting Diabetes


The Pervasiveness of Diabetes

While everyone is familiar with the term diabetes, it is more difficult to know what it means or even more difficult to realize that it could be affecting you. In a survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), around 68% of people did not know that diabetes is closely related to heart disease. Furthermore, the survey also revealed that about 25% of the diabetic population do not even know that they have the disease. It is important to get regular check-ups at the doctor as diabetes and prediabetes are something they check for. Even if doctor visits area regular part of your lifestyle there are ways to know whether or not you’re at risk and there are actions you can take to avoid diabetes, to a certain extent. On March 22, 2022 the American Diabetes Association will observe Alert Day, which takes place every fourth Tuesday of March. It is part of a movement to create awareness about the ‘silent killer’ that affects more than 34.2 million Americans. Diabetes mellitus is the primary causative agent for more than nine other serious health complications.


Types of Diabetes and Risk Factors

There are two types of diabetes as well as prediabetes. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction, wherein the body attacks itself by mistake. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes are not as clear for prediabetes or for Type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include the following:

  • Family history: parent or siblings with Type 1 diabetes
  • Age: more likely to develop when you’re a child, teen, or young adult
  • Race/Ethnicity: Whites are at higher risk than African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, or Alaskan Natives

Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes have similar risk factors and can be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes such as losing weight if overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity. Risk factors are as follows:

  • Weight: Overweight
  • Age: 45 years or older
  • Family history: parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes
  • Physical activity: Physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Pregnancy related: Have ever had gestational diabetes (during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighted more than 9 pounds
  • Race/Ethnicity: African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaskan Native
  • Disease: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


Talk to a Health Care Worker about Your Diabetes Risk Today

Whether you or a loved one received personalized heath care with Freedom Home Care or other, it is important to monitor risk factors for diabetes. Ask a certified caregiver or doctor about your risk or a loved one’s risk for diabetes today. If you are a person at risk there are ways to adjust daily life to prevent or avoid diabetes disease. Those around you can help care for your needs.