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When the pancreas does not secrete a sufficient amount of insulin, or when the body system suddenly resists insulin and prevents it from lowering blood glucose levels, diabetes occurs. Through a blood test, blood glucose level can be determined. The normal blood glucose level is lower than 100 mg/dl; should it exceed this level, the doctor may consider prescribing medications to control blood glucose levels. Should the blood sugar level exceed 126 mg/dl, the patient is classified to have diabetes.

In America, 21,000,000 people are diabetic, and 42,000,000 people are pre-diabetic; these numbers are quickly increasing at an alarming rate, too. Therefore, it is important not to neglect the seriousness of diabetes- the following are some risk factors that may increase the chances of developing diabetes:

    1. Obesity and hypertension may increase risks of diabetes.
    2. Women who have had a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy or have given birth to babies who weigh 9lbs or greater at birth have increased risks of developing diabetes.
    3. A “good” cholesterol (HDL) level below 35mg/dl and a blood lipid level above 250mg/dl.
    4. A family history of diabetes, especially if one’s parents have diabetes, increases one’s chance of developing diabetes.
    5. Race: African, Asian, and Latin descents have greater risks of diabetes.

Three common symptoms of diabetes:

    1. Frequent need to urinate- because blood glucose level is high, the body needs to pass the excess sugar through more frequent urination.
    2. Thirst- because large amounts of water is loss through frequent urination, one with diabetes feels thirsty all the time.
    3. Weight loss- induced by body cells’ failure to absorb glucose in blood, which deprives cells of energy, making one feel hungry all the time. The nutrients of any food ingested cannot be absorbed by the body, and the loss of water due to frequent urination cause weight loss and fatigue.

If you have the symptoms mentioned above, it is recommended that you go visit your family doctor as soon as possible and receive a blood test to determine whether your blood glucose level is within the normal range.



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