Do you know your diabetes risk?

An estimated 7.2 million Americans are currently living with diabetes , but unaware that they have it. Tens of millions more are living with prediabetes, which can progress to diabetes. If you’ve never had a diabetes screening before, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with your blood glucose level. The American Diabetes Association has designated each fourth Tuesday in March as Diabetes Alert Day. It’s intended to be a wake-up call that encourages individuals to visit their local hospital to get screened. At West Hills Hospital, you’ll receive the superior medical care you need and the compassionate guidance you deserve.

Family history
Let your doctor know if you have any biological relatives with diabetes. Your risk could be elevated if the disease tends to run in your family.

Personal history
If you’re a woman of reproductive age, you should be aware of the possibility of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes typically resolves after childbirth, provided it’s managed properly. However, having a prior history of this disease can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.

You may also be at a higher risk if you gave birth to a baby weighing nine or more pounds.

Type 2 diabetes is more commonly diagnosed among individuals age 45 and older. As you grow older, your pancreatic islet function starts to decline .

This means your pancreas can’t produce as much insulin as before. Additionally, insulin resistance can worsen with age, particularly with unhealthy lifestyle decisions.

Medical conditions
Your doctor should know about all of your previously diagnosed medical conditions. Some of them might increase your risk of diabetes, even if they seem unrelated. For example, you could be at a higher risk if you have any of the following:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglyceride level
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Prior stroke
  • Depression
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Depression

Lifestyle choices
Although some of the risk factors of diabetes aren’t modifiable, many of them are. You can improve your management of pre-existing medical conditions with help from your physician.

Your doctor can also help you improve your lifestyle choices. Poor diet and lack of exercise are risk factors, but making small changes over time can make a big difference in your health.

At every stage of life, West Hills Hospital is your partner in health. Your doctor will work closely with you to help you manage your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. Call (818) 676-4321 to request a physician referral from a registered nurse at our hospital in West Hills.

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