Published on March 16, 2015

Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

By Jill V. Ely, MSN, FNP-BC, CDE

Are you worried that you might have diabetes? Are you at risk of getting diabetes? Are you inactive? Do you have a family member with diabetes?  With an easy on line test, you can find out your risk for diabetes. 
 
Diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) illness. Most people with diabetes, have Type 2 diabetes.   With diabetes, your body has trouble using the sugar. This causes the sugar level in your body to become too high. The high blood sugar causes health problems through your entire body.
 
There are two types of diabetes. Most people have type 2 diabetes. At one time, type 2 diabetes was more common in people over age 45, but now more young people and even children have type 2 diabetes. Nearly 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes; about 10 percent do not even know they have the disease. In our state, there are 250,000 people with diabetes and another 83,000 who do not know they have it.
 
Another serious concern, 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes. In Pre-diabetes, the blood sugars are higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes. By making changes in your life, you may be able to stop pre-diabetes changing into type 2 diabetes. 
 
The first step in stopping diabetes is to know your risk of this illness. This year March 24th will be the American Diabetes Association Alert Day. It is a one day “wake up call”  for people to take an easy risk test. The test will measure your risk for developing diabetes.  
 
Make a few small changes. It can make a big effect on your health. You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Try to lose weight. Make better food choices. Be more active.
 
So take the test. Make changes in your life, if possible. If you have diabetes, learn more about diabetes through our Diabetes Education Program.