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Risks, Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes

Over 2 million Canadians have diabetes. This number is expected to increase dramatically as baby boomers hit their late 40's and 50's, the age when Type 2 diabetes tends to strike. The good news is there are things that can be done to help prevent diabetes. Knowing your risk factors is a good place to start.

Diabetes Risk Factors

The Canadian Diabetes Association identifies the following risk factors:

  • Age 40 or over (you should be tested for diabetes once every three years). If you have other risk factors, you may need to be checked more frequently.
  • Overweight/obese and you carry most of your weight around the middle.
  • A member of a high-risk ethnic group (Aboriginal peoples, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent)
  • A family history of diabetes.
  • Have given birth to a baby that weighed over 4 kg (9 lb.) at birth, or have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • High cholesterol or other high fats in the blood
  • Higher than normal blood glucose levels (pre-diabetes)
  • High blood pressure
  • Health conditions associated with diabetes (polycystic ovarian disease, schizophrenia, vascular disease)

Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes

The signs and symptoms of diabetes include the following:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet