May 25, 2024

Could You Have Diabetes-And Not Know it?

Take this test to see if you are a risk for having diabetes.

Take this test to see if you are at risk for having diabetes. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. If you are a member of one of these ethnic groups, you need to pay special attention to this test. Write in the points next to each statement that is true for you. If a statement is not true, put a zero. Then add your total score.

1. I am a woman who has had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth.

Yes 1 ______

2. I have a sister or brother with diabetes.

Yes 1 ______

3. I have a parent with diabetes.

Yes 1 ______

4. My weight is equal to or above that listed in the chart.

Yes 5 ______

5. I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise.

Yes 5 ______

6. I am between 45 and 64 years of age.

Yes 5 ______

7. I am 65 years old or older.

Yes 9 ______

TOTAL

Scoring 10 or more points: You are at high risk for having diabetes. Only your health care provider can check to see if you have diabetes. See yours soon and find out for sure.

Scoring 3 to 9 points: You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don’t just forget about it. Keep your risk low by losing weight if you are overweight, being active most days and eating low-fat meals that are high in fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to blindness, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure and loss of a limb.

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Diabetes and Your Heart

Diabetes has many complications, some leading to other serious health conditions. Heart health is one more reason to take control of your diabetes.

Diabetes is one condition that must be treated as soon as it is diagnosed, even though in its early stages it doesn’t hurt, or cause inconvenience, or create any worrisome symptoms. But ignoring it is a mistake, because the blood sugar imbalance we diabetics live with can cause a variety of complications, even leading to other serious health conditions.

One major cause for concern is adverse effects on our hearts. Our unstable blood sugar levels can cause poor circulation—a big step on the road to heart problems. Here are some things to watch for.

Hypertension

Diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure, or hypertension. In fact, your doctor will tell you that diabetics must work to get their blood pressure down even lower than other people. While a systolic pressure (the top number) of 140 might be acceptable for the general population, we diabetics should aim for 130 or lower. It’s all part of the battle against possible heart disease.

Blood fats

Cholesterol and tryglycerides, or blood fats, also need to be kept lower in diabetics. Lots of fruits and vegetables, fewer packaged or fried foods are your best bets for dietary blood fat control. Throw out that frying pan!

Blood sugar

Blood sugar levels need monitoring too, as consistently high levels damage blood vessels and can lead to cardiovascular difficulties.

Weight level

And of course you know it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Why is that particularly important for us diabetics? First, if you are overweight your heart muscle needs to work harder to pump blood through your system. This weakens your blood vessels, which are then more susceptible to damage from fluctuating blood sugar levels. It’s a vicious cycle you don’t want to create.

Your heart is the main engine of your whole body, so you need to do everything possible to keep it in good shape. For the sake of a healthy heart, take control of your diabetes.

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