The Risk Factors of Diabetes

Somehow we blew right through 2014 and now we are on the tail end of it wondering where the year has gone. I love this time of year for many reasons—my birthday, my son’s birthday, the birth of Christ and spending time with family and friends. However, the months of November and December have great nutritional significance. November is recognized worldwide as Diabetes Month with November 14th being celebrated as Diabetes Day. Diabetes is an epidemic that affects millions of people all over the world. According to U.S statistics, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death with health care costs for the treatment of diabetes totaling around $174 billion annually!! While I have not been able to gain access to local Diabetes statistics from the Ministry of Health, anecdotal reports suggest that this disease is wreaking havoc in the lives of many people living among us here in the Turks & Caicos.

There are many factors that increase your risk for diabetes. To find out about your risk, note each item on this list that applies to you.

  • I am 45 years of age or older.
  • I am overweight.
  • I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • My ethnic background is Black, Hispanic or Native American.
  • I have had diabetes while I was pregnant or I gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
  • I have been told that my blood glucose blood sugar levels are higher than normal.
  • I have been told that I have high blood pressure.
  • My cholesterol levels are not normal.
  • I am physically active less than three times a week.
  • I have been told that I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • The skin around my neck or in my armpits appears dirty no matter how much I scrub it.
  • I have been told that I have blood vessel problems affecting my heart, brain, or legs.

If you have any of these risks, speak with your doctor about prevention and/or treatment options.