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The holidays are known as a time for family gatherings, catching up with relatives, and sometimes even the occasional family conflict. Like drama at the holiday dinner table, in many ways your health is influenced by your family-for better or for worse. This year, why not start a conversation that benefits everyone? Gather your family health history.
Why It's Important
Family history of disease is an important part of understanding your risk for developing a number of serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems including blindness, loss of limb, kidney failure, heart disease, and early death. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member-such as a mother, father, brother, or sister-with the disease.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) encourages all families to gather their family health history this holiday season and help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in future generations.
By knowing your family health history, sharing it with your health care team, and taking important steps-such as maintaining a healthy weight or losing a small amount of weight if you are overweight, making healthy food choices, and being physically active-you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes (as well as other serious diseases) and help ensure that you will be enjoying holiday family gatherings for years to come.
Four Questions You Should Ask
The answers to these key questions could help you prevent type 2 diabetes in your future.
If the answer to any of these is yes, or you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, you may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor and visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org to learn more about managing your risk and preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.
Your History Affects Your Child's Future
While you're gathering your family's history, you need to take your own into consideration as well.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and affects about 7 percent of all U.S. pregnancies-or about 200,000 pregnancies each year. If you had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, you and your child have a lifelong risk for getting diabetes.
For a free tip sheet on gestational diabetes, including steps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, call the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) at 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) or visit its website at http://www.yourdiabetesinfo.org/.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
In addition to family history and gestational diabetes, there are other factors that increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
If one or more of the following items apply to you, be sure to talk with your health care team about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and whether you should be tested.
0 comments - Oct 4, 2010
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.