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The Bermudian

A Brief Explanation of Diabetes:

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin the body does make is not working properly. Some of the causes of type 2 diabetes are still unclear, but it is known that the development of the disease is linked to lifestyle as well as having a strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Type 2 Diabetes:

- Represents 85–90 percent of all cases of diabetes
- Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years, but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults
- Is more likely to occur in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or those from particular ethnic backgrounds
- For some the first sign may be a complication of diabetes, such as a heart attack, vision problems or a foot ulcer
- Is managed with a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes over time.


 

 

 




Quiz: Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Answer the questions below, keeping track of your score as you go along. The final tally of your points will indicate whether you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.


1. How old are you?

Less than 40 years (0 points)
40–49 years (1 point)
50–59 years (2 points)
60 years or older (3 points)


2. Are you a man or a woman?

Man (1 point) Woman (0 points)


3. If you are a woman, have you ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

Yes (1 point) No (0 points)


4. Do you have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes?

Yes (1 point) No (0 points)


5. Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure?

Yes (1 point) No (0 points)


6. Are you physically active?

Yes (0 points) No (1 point)


7. What is your weight category?

See chart below.

 




If you scored 5 or higher:

You are at increased risk for having type 2 diabetes. However, only your doctor can tell for sure if you do have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Talk to your doctor to see if additional testing is needed.


Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Higher body weight increases diabetes risk for everyone. Asian Americans are at increased diabetes risk at lower body weight than the rest of the general public (about 15 pounds lower).

The good news is you can manage your risk for type 2 diabetes. Small steps make a big difference in helping you live a longer, healthier life.


For more information, visit us at diabetes.bm or call 297-8427. Bermuda Diabetes Association Resource Centre, Corner of Dundonald and Cedar Avenue, Hamilton.

 

 

 

 

 

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