How to Know If You Have Diabetes

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The only way to know if you have diabetes for certain is to visit a doctor for a blood test. Possible risk factors for diabetes include being of certain ethnicity, having a family history, having high blood pressure and being excessively hungry or thirsty. Get checked out for diabetes if any possible symptoms are noticed with insight from a family nurse practitioner in this free video on diabetes symptoms.

Part of the Video Series: Diabetes Symptoms & Treatments
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Video Transcript

How do you know if you have diabetes? Hi I'm Amy Bull, Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner at Vanderbilt School of Nursing. The only way you can truly know if you have diabetes is to visit your healthcare provider and have a blood test. But what are things that would make you suspicious so that you would go to the healthcare provider? First of all let's talk about risk of diabetes. You are at increased risk for diabetes if you are from certain ethnic groups. For example, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans are all at greater risk for diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, however, Caucasians are at risk for type 1 diabetes at a higher rate than other ethnic groups. Besides ethnicity, the family history is important to know. If you have a family history of diabetes then you at more risk to develop the disorder. Other risk factors for diabetes include elevated blood pressure which is defined as greater than 140/90. Also your cholesterol level is important especially having elevated triglycerides or a low HDL or what we call the good cholesterol. These factors are all important to help you determine if you need to see a healthcare provider. What about signs and symptoms of diabetes? The most common signs and symptoms are excessive hunger, excessive thirst, increased urination, fatigue, sores that won't heal, vision changes, numbness or tingling in the feet, weight loss or weight gain that is unexplained. So there is a variety of symptoms that may suggest to you that you need to be checked for diabetes.

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