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This One Thing Could Predict if You'll Get Diabetes, Says Study

Learn about this childhood condition and worrying symptoms of diabetes.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about ten percent of Americans, or 34 million, suffer from diabetes. 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes, meaning your body doesn't use insulin properly. There are multiple risk factors for diabetes, some of them preventable and others not. Researchers are continually studying diabetes, hoping to gain more understanding about what causes it and how to prevent it. Recently new findings have identified a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, that could help prevent many people from developing the condition. Read on to find out more about this condition—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

1

Your Childhood BMI Could Predict Diabetes

Happy young woman holding up her baby boy up while standing in living room
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The research letter, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology found that childhood obesity—a high body mass index (BMI)—could be a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes and early myocardial infarction, and ultimately lead to overall worse health in young adulthood regardless of BMI.

Researchers used BMI z-scores of 12,300 children between the ages of 11 and 18 with 24 years of follow-up self-reported data via the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. They found that a higher BMI in adolescence was responsible for a 2.6 percent increase in overall poor health, a 8.8 percent greater risk for type 2 diabetes and 0.8 percent increased risk for early myocardial infarction for adults in their 30s and 40s—regardless of their adult BMI.

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2

Your Adolescent BMI is a Risk Factor for Other Health Issues Including Heart Attack

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"The finding that adolescent BMI is a risk factor for poor health outcomes in adulthood, regardless of adult BMI, has significant implications for our understanding of cardiovascular disease onset," study lead Jason M. Nagata, MD, MSc, stated in a press release. "Considering these findings, health care providers should consider BMI history when assessing for cardiovascular and chronic disease risk."

"Our study suggests that adolescence is an important time period to optimize health and prevent early heart attacks," Nagata continued. "Pediatricians should encourage teens to develop healthy behaviors including physical activity and balanced meals." 

"It's extremely important to know your risk for diabetes and to be screened for diabetes early if you are concerned over your risk. A simple blood test can tell you your risk," says Dr. Deena Adimoolam, a Yale-trained endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes, food as medicine and metabolic health. Read on for the 7 most worrying symptoms.

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3

Worrying Symptom: You Have Excessive Thirst

thirsty woman drinking water
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If you're developing diabetes, you may have polydipsia—increased thirst—or polyuria—frequent, excessive urination.

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4

Worrying Symptom: You Always Feel Hungry

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It's natural to feel hungry after a workout or having skipped meal. But diabetes may feel hungry for seemingly no reason—and find that food doesn't quell the pangs. There's actually a medical term for always feeling hungry when you have diabetes—it's called polyphagia.

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5

Worrying Symptom: You Have Blurry Vision

Blurred and double vision while driving
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If you guessed blurry vision when you have diabetes was due to blood sugar issues, good job: you have been paying attention. Your eye lens swells when blood sugar levels are high, and body water is pulled into the lens.

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6

Worrying Symptom: You Feel Very Tired

Stressed businesswoman rubbing her eyes in the office.
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When your blood glucose is uncontrolled, you may have hyperglycemia—which can lead to nausea, fruity-smelling breath, shortness of breath and dry mouth—or high blood sugar, and feel a lack of energy. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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