According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 7.2 million people in the United States who have undiagnosed diabetes. That’s a shocking number considering the seriousness of the disease. Untreated diabetes can harm nearly every system in the body, including the heart and kidneys. Knowing the risk factors associated with diabetes can allow for lifestyle changes to reduce risks or seeking treatment, if diabetes is likely.
Diabetes Risk Factors
Type 2 diabetes commonly affects people in adulthood, though it can begin at any time. The risk factors include:
Age: Diabetes is more common in people who are aged 45 or older.
Weight: One of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. In fact, some research shows that obesity is the number one diabetes risk factor.
Family History: Having a close family relative, like a sibling or parent, with diabetes puts a person at higher risk.
Gestational Diabetes: Women who had gestational diabetes or who gave birth to a baby that weighed nine pounds or more are at greater risk.
Physical Activity: People who engage in physical activity less than three times each week are more likely to develop diabetes.
Having Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a warning sign for diabetes.
Ethnicity: Certain ethnic backgrounds put a person at higher risk. Higher risk ethnicities include African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, Pacific Islanders, and Asian-Americans.
Controlling Risk Factors
Obviously, some of the risk factors above cannot be changed, like age, family history, and ethnic background. However, there are several of them that you can help your aging family member to improve by making some lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes that improve diabetes risks are:
Losing Weight: Even a small weight loss of between five and seven percent of a person’s weight can reduce diabetes risks by half. Losing even more weight reduces the risks further.
Exercise: To reduce the risk of diabetes, seniors should strive to exercise at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity.
Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber and whole grains can help older adults to lose weight and improve overall health.
Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but having a home care provider they can count on for support can make the changes easier. Home care services providers can help older adults to reduce diabetes risk factors by encouraging them to meet their weight loss goals. They can help seniors to plan and prepare healthy meals. Home care services providers can even take your family member grocery shopping. And, when it comes to exercise, having a home care services provider to go for a walk with can make older adults feel safer, making them more likely to be active.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Lexington NC, please contact the caring staff at TenderHearted Home Care today. (704) 612-4132.
I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.
I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.
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