Am I at risk for developing diabetes?

The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk for developing diabetes. Risk factors include:

  • Overweight
  • Over 40 years old
  • Relatives with diabetes
  • Get little exercise
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Had gestational diabetes
  • Delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • African American, Latino, Asian, or Native American heritage

How can I achieve and maintain good blood glucose control?

  • Take all of your medications as instructed.
  • Monitor your blood glucose daily with your blood sugar meter and try to identify patterns.
  • Eat 3 meals per day, control carbohydrate portions, and decrease your saturated fat intake.
  • Move your body – the gym isn’t the only option. Walk, dance, garden, clean!
  • Stay motivated. Learn as much as you can about diabetes, talk with friends and family about diabetes, keep yourself informed, and stay on track.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Remember: small changes can have a big impact.

How can I reduce the risk of complications?

  • Target an A1C (90 day glucose average) of 7% or less
  • Keep blood pressure below 140/90
  • Aim for LDL cholesterol level below 100
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep regular appointments with your health care team: stay up-to-date with eye, foot, kidney, and dental care

What are the health risks of poorly controlled diabetes?

Diabetes can have many adverse effects:

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • Adults with diabetes have 2-4 times higher rate of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease which leads to dialysis or kidney transplant.
  • More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur among diabetics.
  • About 60-70% of diabetics have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.
  • Gum disease is more common among people with diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are more susceptible to other illness.

Fortunately, studies have shown that the risk of diabetes complications is reduced greatly with even small lifestyle improvements. You can control your diabetes, don't let diabetes control you!

Resources for Diabetic Patients

For more information about diabetes, visit the links below:

American Diabetes Association
CDC Diabetes Program
Diabetes Library
Medic Alert Bracelet
National Diabetes Education Program
Español: Vídeos de Educación del Paciente