By Katherine Steinberg, AOL Health
More than 23 million people are living with diabetes in the United States, with 24 percent of cases going undiagnosed, according the American Diabetes Association. You may be at risk or already suffering complications and not even know it. Take a look at some surprising diabetes indicators.
If you're a size D or larger at age 20, you may be up to five times more likely to develop diabetes than your flat-chested friends, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This finding is surprising because it indicates that breast size is a significant factor independent of body mass index (BMI). However powerful these findings are, more studies and research remains to be done to be entirely conclusive.
Have your brows stayed dark while the rest of your hair has turned gray? You may want to get a fasting-glucose test from your doctor. A German study of 100 men between the ages of 50 and 70 with graying hair found that 76 percent of the men with dark brows had diabetes, compared to 18 percent of the gray-browed men. The theory is that diabetes may inhibit the graying process in eyebrow hair.
New research suggests that the month in which you are born could play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes, reports the American Diabetes Association. More than 10,000 children were studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation. The results showed that spring babies were more likely than fall babies to develop type 1 diabetes in the U.S. This trend was strongest in the northern parts of the United States. The reasoning behind this is currently unknown, but may be due to mother's diet or exposure to solar radiation.
Previously overlooked, hearing loss has now been linked to diabetes as a complication. Hearing loss was about twice as prevalent in people with diabetes as their healthy counterparts; found a study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, reports MedPage Today. "Complications of diabetes are very widespread and this is yet another one,” says Dr. Judith Fradkin Director, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, & Metabolic Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. The trouble is that the population at risk for diabetes is now further at risk for hearing loss.
Bad news for some shorties out there, researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study of 3,600 men and found that men with shorter legs were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than their long-legged buddies, reports CBS News. It's not actually height that impacts diabetes risk, but the leg-to-height ratio. This finding hints at something more in terms of diabetes risk and fetal development.
If you find that your cuts are sticking around longer it may be a symptom of type 2 diabetes. Diabetics may suffer from a condition called atherosclerosis, which is the thickening of vessel walls and the subsequent thinning of blood vessels. With thicker walls and thinner cells, the blood stream has more trouble carrying white blood cells, the infection fighters, to the site of the cut, thus delaying your healing time.
If you have periodontal disease or tooth loss you are at increased risk for diabetes, according to the Harvard Schools of Public Health and Dental Medicine, reports MedPage Today. They concluded from their studies that tooth loss raised the risk of diabetes for both sexes by 14 to 29 percent. Periodontal disease is thought to be a complication of diabetes, but perhaps it's actually a two-way street.
Something else diabetics with atherosclerosis may notice is a loss of hair or thinning hair. When there is a thickening of blood vessel walls the blood vessels narrow. This can occur in blood vessels all over your body, including your skin. Narrow blood vessels mean less oxygen, which causes symptoms like hair loss as well as shiny skin and thickened skin. Hair loss is not limited to any one specific area of the body. With circulatory impairment in your legs, you could often see hair loss on your legs say experts.
If you're a farmer, you may be raising your risk for diabetes, considering that long-term exposure to pesticides and herbicides have been found to increase diabetes risk, according to an Agricultural Health Study of Iowa farmers published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. However, the amount of pesticides the population is regularly exposed to are low, and not as powerful an indicator as obesity and family history.
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