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Recognizing the signs of diabetes and pre-diabetes before the disease takes over | Wear The Gown

You don't just contract type-2 overnight. There's an intermediate phase called pre-diabetes.

SAN ANTONIO — The holiday season is here and that means many of us will be gorging on all sorts of sweets, and that could be an issue for diabetics.

Diabetes is one of those insidious diseases, because at the onset you don't initially have symptoms, but as the disease progresses, the disease begins to unknowingly ravage the body.

Dr. Griffin Rodgers, the Director National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases told us, "The sooner you know that you have diabetes, the sooner you can be put on the appropriate medicines or other interventions to try to delay or prevent some of the serious complications associated with diabetes." 

But you don't just contract type-2 overnight. There's an intermediate phase called pre-diabetes, where the blood sugar isn't high enough to register as the full disease. Dr. Rodgers said, "These individuals with pre-diabetes are at great risk over the next five years to go on to develop diabetes."  

Roughly 37 million Americans, or about 11 percent of the population, is said to have diabetes. Here in Texas, the prevalence of the disease is about 12 percent, making Texas the eighth most frequent state with respect to the disease. One of the reasons is because 36 percent of the population is said to be obese, which is a huge risk factor.

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Dr. Rodgers added: "And then there are certain racial and ethnic groups that tend to have a higher prevalence, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and native Native Americans."  

Other risk factors include age, especially those 45 years or older, family history, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and overuse of alcohol. Dr. Rodgers told us, "It is a carbohydrate. And so not only does alcohol contribute directly, but indirectly through increasing our fat over the long term in the body."  

To find out more information about diabetes and what the National Institutes of Health are doing to combat the disease, click here.

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