Today, there are more than 9 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. With more than 20 people being newly diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day, chances are that diabetes affects you or someone you know.
It's important for us all to eat right, be active and try to lead better quality lives to prevent this, but it is also important to be aware of what may put you at risk.
There are some risk factors we can control, such as having a good diet, being active regularly and not smoking.
There are some things we cannot change such that increase our risk of diabetes. For example if you have a family history of diabetes (a direct family member with the condition) then you are at higher risk. Also as we age our risk increase. Those over the age of 40 will be at increased risk. There are also some ethnic populations that appear to be at higher risk including Aboriginal, Asian, South Asian, Hispanic and African decent.
There are some risk factors that are less well known but just as important. If you had Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes while pregnant) you are at higher risk of developing diabetes and so is your child you were carrying at the time. Having a large infant (more than 9lbs) also puts you and that baby at greater risk for developing diabetes.
So be sure to life a healthy active lifestyle and follow-up regularly with your family doctor if you are at risk for this condition. Prevention is key to improving the quality of the rest of your life!