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The best way to dodge the diabetes bullet is understanding your risk: Four risk factors you might not know

by , 10 April 2015

In 1985, approximately 30 million people worldwide had diabetes.

Today more than150 million people have diabetes. And the number will probably be closer to 330 million by 2025 reveals the World Health Organisation.

The reason isn't just genetics.

Sure, you're at greater risk for type II if a family member has the condition, but lifestyle choices can trigger or prevent it.

So how do you know if you're at risk?

Read on to find out.


Know the facts about diabetes so you can prevent it if you’re high risk

As the authors behind 7 Ways to Defeat Diabetes Without A Single Drug explain: “There’s not point trying to prevent a problem not likely to develop, so the first step you should take is to evaluate your personal risk factors.”
Now common risk factors for diabetes include things like your genes, your weight, your age and your activity level. But that’s not all your need to pay attention to. 

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Here are four of the lessor known diabetes risk factors you need to worry about

#1: Skin tags: 
20 years ago, a group of astute researchers wrote to the editor of a medical journal about their observations regarding skin tags and diabetes: They had noticed that a significant number of diabetic patients also had skin tags (pouches of skin that look like little tags and tend to grow in the neck, armpit and groin regions). 
After years of analysis, they reported that 80% of the patients they had studied who had skin tags either had existing diabetes or developed it later.
#2: You simply can’t lose weight:
If you’ve tried dieting to no avail, it might not be a willpower problem. Often, people who are at risk of diabetes cell receptors stop acknowledging insulin. This means your cells don't get the glucose they need to work. They’re starving and they tell your pancreas to pump out even more insulin. 
The result?
You store more fat despite eating less. And we all know that the more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
#3: You suffer from low blood sugar
Contrary to popular belief, too low when it comes to your blood sugar is just as dangerous as too high. Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia and is usually the result of over-secretion of insulin.
Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include shakiness, a rapid heartbeat, sweating, irritability, confusion, blurred vision, headaches, numbness or tingling sensations in the mouth or lips, pale skin and sudden hunger. 
#4: High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and raised triglycerides 
These can be a result of excess insulin in the liver. High blood pressure can be attributed to excess insulin that causes the kidneys to retain more sodium and the adrenals to secrete too much adrenaline. If your blood pressure is over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or your have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol, it means your diabetes risk is higher too, reveals the Mayo Clinic.

Sounds familiar? Now what?

As the authors behind 7 Ways to Defeat Diabetes Without A Single Drug explain: 
“If even just one of the above conditions applies to you, you should have a glucose-insulin tolerance test (GITT) done. 
This test can tell you whether you’re likely to develop type II diabetes as much as two decades in advance; that gives you plenty of time to “turn it around” and prevent it from occurring in the first place!” 

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