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Diabetes: Are You at Risk?

Prevent diabetes with doctors visits and health insurance from Andrew g gordon incHaving been recently diagnosed as "pre-diabetic" I thought it wise to get some information regarding the disease. So I "Binged" it and came up with the following definitions.

Hyperglycemia: A condition characterized by excessively high levels of glucose in the blood. It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it does have to turn the glucose into energy. It is often an indicator that the diabetes is out of control.

Hypoglycemia: Conversely, hypoglycemia is a condition of abnormally diminished glucose in the blood. The world hypoglycemia literally means "low sugar blood".

Pre-Diabetes: When a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be Type 2 Diabetes. Risk factors include age 45 or older and overweight.

Diabetes: A disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose backs up in the blood stream causing one's blood glucose (sometimes referred to as "blood sugar") to rise too high.

Symptoms: Symptoms of diabetes can develop suddenly (over days or weeks) in previously healthy children or adolescents, or symptoms can develop gradually (over several years) in overweight adults over the age of 40. Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, lethargy, excessive thirst, and excessive hunger. Treatment includes changes in diet, oral medications and in some cases, daily injections of insulin.

Types of Diabetes: There are several types of diabetes, but the most common are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes, begins most commonly in childhood or adolescence. In this form, the body produces little or no insulin. In the United States, approximately 3 people in 1000 develop Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes and occurs in approximately 3 to 5% of Americans under 50 years of age and increases to 10 to 15% in those over 50. Type 2 is considered a milder form of diabetes because of its slow onset- sometimes developing over the course of several years and because it usually can be controlled with diet and oral medication.

Risk Factors: Individuals who are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes include people who:

  • are obese (more than 20% above the ideal body weight)
  • have a relative with diabetes
  • belong to a high-risk ethnic population (African, Native American, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian)
  • have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or have delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • have high blood pressure (140/90 or above)
  • have a high density lipoprotein cholesterol level less than or equal to 35 mg/dL and/or a triglyceride level greater than or equal to 250 mg/dL
  • have had impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose on previous testing

If you have any concerns about your health, do not hesitate to contact a doctor or a health professional. Learn more about life insurance here. Get some life insurance exam tips here!

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