Diabetes is a disease in which blood-glucose levels are above normal, and at least one doctor says some people have a higher risk of developing the disease than others.
Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure.
Dr. Betul Hatipoglu, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said there are at-risk groups.
“If you have a family history of diabetes, if you are obese or overweight, if you have a sedentary life or if you belong to a background where we see a lot of diabetes, such as Hispanic, African-American, Indian-American and Asian-American,” she said.
Hatipoglu said another risk factor for women is giving birth to a baby weighing more than 10 pounds.
She said the best way to determine if you might be diabetic is to have your blood-glucose level checked through a blood test done by a physician. Hatipoglu said even if the test reveals you’re not diabetic, your physician should be able to determine if you’re considered high-risk.
She said the most important thing anyone can do to prevent diabetes is to exercise.
“About 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week will do a magical trick to prevent diabetes, as well as watching a healthy diet and losing 5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight. Even if you are morbidly obese, it has been shown to help decrease the risk of diabetes,” Hatipoglu said.
The doctor said if you are at risk, you should be tested annually by your physician.
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Article source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42918347