I realize from all of your responses, that I scared a lot more people than those who need to become alarmed. Still, I believe that there are way too many who need to become alarmed and aren’t yet aware of it. So, who needs to be concerned and who doesn’t?
I recently read a report from John Hopkins University that they predict that in 8 years from now, three-quarter of the population will be obese. If this happens, it won’t be embarrassing anymore to be overweight. It might very possibly become weird to b thin. That being the case, three-quarter of the population did need to become alarmed. If you are from the other 25%, please forgive me for making you panic unnecessarily.
The message that I liked most was from an innocent teenager who wrote, “I am a healthy teenager. I want to know what I need to do to protect my health. I want to know what happens when I eat a cookie or chocolate? What should I limit? What should I avoid? How many candies can I have each day? How much can I eat altogether to prevent all the symptoms and diabetes stuff?”
Again, I was definitely not attempting to cause anxiety to young, healthy children. I will therefore spend some time now to discuss who does need to be concerned.
What are the risk factors for diabetes?
- Firstly, do any of your parents have diabetes? If yes, their children are very likely to get diabetes as well. How about your siblings? Aunts and uncles? If any of them have diabetes, you are at risk. Even if they don’t, but if they have any of the diseases associated with metabolic syndrome, you are at risk too.
- The second risk factor is being overweight especially if the fat is stored on the lower part of your abdomen which is a sign of metabolic syndrome. It is compared to the shape of an apple that is the widest at the center. People who are apple-shaped are most prone to metabolic syndrome including young children who are overweight. Girls should be especially careful as it could cause them to have serious infertility issues when they become older.
- The third risk factor is age. As you become older, your risk increases. People above 45 are at greater risk. However, if you are younger than 45, that does not indicate that you are definitely not at risk. The age of people with diabetes is becoming younger with each generation. Not so long ago, we didn’t see people with diabetes under age 40 but unfortunately today we see many under 20.
- The fourth risk factor is if you are not active. Many medical professional believe that this is the greatest risk factor. If you are from the group of workers who sit at a desk most of the day, even though you are very productive and successful, but if you don’t move out of your chair or car, you are at great risk.
- The fifth risk factor is if you ever had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. One of four women who had gestational diabetes will develop type II diabetes later in life. Woman who had gestational diabetes are ten times more prone to have type II diabetes later. If her child was above 9 lbs at birth even though she was not aware that she had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, she is at greater risk because she probably did have gestational diabetes that was undetected.
- The sixth risk factor is women who had pre-eclampsia aka as toxemia during pregnancy.
- The seventh risk factor is something which I’ve touched on before. If you have high blood pressure, it is a symptom of metabolic syndrome and you are at risk of developing the other diseases associated with metabolic syndrome including diabetes.
- The eighth risk factor is having an HDL cholesterol level under 40 on lab results. This is a clear indicator of metabolic syndrome.
- The ninth risk factor is having triglycerides above 150 on your lab report. According to the American Heart Association, a triglycerides level which is obtained from fasting blood test (which means that you didn’t eat anything in the morning before your blood was drawn) with a level between 150-200 is borderline high, between 200-250 is high, above 250 is extremely high.
Most of the time, one will see the last 2 risk factors together. If a person has a low HDL level, the triglycerides will be elevated too. A good way to look at it is like this:
If the HDL, good cholesterol is half of the triglycerides, that is good. For example, if the HDL is 50 and triglycerides is 100, that is excellent.
If the HDL is less than one-quarter of the triglycerides, the triglycerides is too high.
If the HDL is less than one-sixth of the triglycerides, that’s very alarming.
In other words, the more triglycerides and the lower the HDL, the more dangerous it is.
These numbers usually indicate heart disease but the fact shows that it’s also an indicator of metabolic syndrome.
To summarize, if any one of the above-mentioned risk factors apply to you, even though your doctor has tested you and said that you don’t currently have diabetes, that doesn’t ensure that you are not at risk. Even though the issue hasn’t surfaced yet, it might surface tomorrow. A person at risk should continuously go for check-ups, be on the alert and do everything possible to prevent diabetes.
One woman wrote that her naturopathic doctor told her that her pancreas is weak and she asked of this is a risk factor for diabetes.
According to current advanced research, type II diabetes isn’t a pancreas issue. The pancreas of a type II diabetic usually works 100% fine. Their problem comes from a totally different source. The issue is in all cells of the body which I will explain in more details in a future post. In short, a weak pancreas is not necessarily a risk factor for diabetes. However, there are cases where the pancreas becomes over-strained in patients with diabetes after many years, but this question was posted by an individual who doesn’t have diabetes yet so I wouldn’t consider it a risk factor.
What is diabetes if not a pancreas issue? Stay tuned for future posts.
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