Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body processes blood sugar. It can cause a variety of health problems, including nerve damage, vision loss, and kidney disease. The good news is that diabetes can be managed with medication, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. But when should you get checked for diabetes, and what are the risk factors?
The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults over the age of 45 should get checked for diabetes every three years, regardless of their risk factors. If you have a family history of diabetes or have other risk factors, such as being overweight or having high blood pressure, you may need to get checked more frequently.
People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of developing diabetes. The extra fat in their bodies can cause insulin resistance, which means that their cells don’t respond to insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose for energy. If your cells don’t respond to insulin, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is another risk factor for diabetes. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
If you have a family history of diabetes, you are also at higher risk of developing the disease. If one of your parents or siblings has diabetes, you are more likely to develop it yourself.
In addition to these risk factors, there are other conditions that can increase your risk of developing diabetes. For example, women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you experience any symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, or unexplained weight loss, you should get checked by a doctor. These symptoms can indicate that your blood sugar levels are too high.