My family has a history of diabetes and since I'm 21, I want to know how to prevent it, and what are the early signs?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tendency to develop Type 1 Diabetes is inherited, and while it can be controlled with insulin injections and proper diet and exercise, at this time there is no cure.  You might be born with this type of diabetes or develop it at a relatively young age, but if you inherited the gene, there is not a lot you can do to prevent its eventual onset.  Luckily, most diabetics live a normal life as long as they are careful.

Type 2 Diabetes has much more to do with diet and weight.  In other words, much of whether or not you get this type of the disease is voluntary.  Losing excess weight is essential to remaining symptom free for Type 2's, as is careful monitoring of sugar intake and other diabetic friendly foods that you eat.

Untreated diabetics of both types experience common symptoms such as being thirsty constantly, having cuts or bruises that take forever to heal, and in extreme cases, fading eyesight or even blindness.  Sometimes in diabetics where the blood sugar is way out of balance, ulcerating sores will appear, often at the ankles and calves.  Sufferers will often be very tired, even to the point of what is known as insulin shock, which can be very dangerous.