Are you at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes? The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday, March 27, promoting awareness of Type 2 Diabetes and challenging people to assess their risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Who is at risk? Almost 10% of the population of the United States! Over 7 million Americans are unaware they have diabetes. Additionally, the NIH states, “an estimated 84.1 million Americans aged 18 years or older have prediabetes.”
What is diabetes? The NIH defines diabetes as “a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high.” A normal fasting blood sugar (have not had anything to eat or drink for 8 hours except for water) is less than 100 mg/dl when tested using a small blood sample. A prediabetes result would be in the range of 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl. Diabetes is a measure of 126 mg/dl or higher.
What does diabetes do to the body? The NIH links increased blood glucose and/or uncontrolled diabetes to other health issues including loss of eyesight, nerve damage, kidney disease and heart disease. The destruction resulting from the prolonged periods of increased blood glucose levels is devastatingly hard on the body as it can no longer make and use insulin effectively to keep blood sugar levels in the bloodstream at a normal level. The most common symptoms associated with diabetes are excessive thirst, tingling in the feet, sores that do not heal, and fatigue. Other symptoms include increased urination, increased appetite, blurred vision, and weight loss.
Diabetes Alert Day is March 27, 2018! Mark it on your calendar, gather friends and family, and take the Diabetes Risk Test together. Embrace the results and make an action plan. Understanding your risk can help you to make positive changes to protect your health. Research has proven that you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by almost 60% if you lose weight (7% of your body weight if appropriate) and engage in moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Developing healthy lifestyle habits such as swapping sugary drinks for water can go a long way to improving one’s health. Examine your current habits, decide what you feel you can easily adjust and make your plan.
Remembering the old adage, “an ounce of prevent is worth a pound of cure,’ rings particularly true in the case of diabetes. The National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017 indicated those diagnosed with diabetes seeking care in 2012 spent $245 billion dollars, more than twice the dollar amount for medical care than a non-diabetic.
Don’t be a statistic! Take the Diabetes Risk Test today! Remember, no needles required.