Diabetes Alert Day

[caption id="attachment_41072" align="alignnone" width="856"]Take the Online Test Take the Online Test[/caption]

Sixty seconds can make a huge difference in your health.

The Diabetes Risk Test takes only 60 seconds and can reveal your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, the most common form. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, or roughly 9.3 percent of the population. While 21 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, one-fourth of those with the disease are unaware that they have it. Men are more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes, simply because they often skip routine check-ups with their doctor.

Today is American Diabetes Alert Day. It’s a one-day “wake-up call” encouraging Americans to take an online Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The anonymous test can be taken online or download a paper version at www.diabetes.org/alertday.

The questions will relate to the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Some of these risk factors are beyond your control such as age, family history and gender. Women who had diabetes during their pregnancy (gestational diabetes) are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. If you have a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes, your risk increases. As you get older, your risk for diabetes naturally increases. One in four people aged 60 and older have diabetes. Certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans are more likely to develop diabetes as well.

There are other risk factors that you have some control over to reduce your risk. People who are inactive and/or overweight are at an increased risk for diabetes. Having high-blood pressure also contributes to your risk. Staying at a healthy weight, through diet and daily physical activity can help you prevent and manage not only Type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease, high-blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. In fact, healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Making a few small changes can have a big impact on your weight and your health.

Being aware of your risk for Type 2 diabetes is the first step to taking control of your health. Take the Diabetes Risk test. If there are lifestyle changes to lower your risk, start today. If your risk level is high, follow up with your health care provider. The good news is that diabetes is controllable. The earlier you take control of diabetes; the more you can prevent or delay some of the complications. Over time, diabetes can affect many parts of the body and lead to other health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and circulation problems that may lead to amputation. New evidence shows that people with Type 2 diabetes are also at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Know your diabetes risk so you can take action today.