Diabetes Alert Day: Might you have diabetes?

You have the opportunity to, in a few minutes and with a few answers, change your life. You’re invited to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) “Diabetes Risk Test” – right now.

Each year the ADA sends out the call to help people become aware of whether they may have, or are at risk for, type 2 diabetes. One in three American adults are at risk for diabetes. One in four doesn’t know he has it.

You’d think you’d know if you had diabetes. But at least one-quarter to one-third, of the 26 million Americans with diabetes – get this – don’t! Do you want to take the chance of having diabetes and not knowing when early detection can save your life and the quality of your life?

Here are common risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a family history, being overweight, being sedentary, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,, belonging to a minority risk group like African American, Hispanic and Native American Indian, for women having delivered a big baby. This used to include being over 50 years of age but with the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes in children, I don’t think age is as much a factor.

Here are common symptoms: Thirst, peeing all the time, fatigue, hunger, losing weight, blurry vision, frequent infections, slow healing, tingling or numbness in feet, waking in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. But most people with diabetes have already had it several years before they’re diagnosed, so you may have it and not yet have or recognize the symptoms.

Here’s the way you find out if you have diabetes. Take the ADA’s risk test. Invite family members to take the test. If you or any of your loved ones are at risk, make an appointment with your doctor to get a test for diabetes. 

If you have it, the sooner you know, the greater your chance to avoid and  or delay diabetes complications. If you don’t have it, but suspect someone you know may, be a friend and pass along this information. 

I just heard on the morning news that diabetes is a tsunami. Sounds like they’ve elevated its “epidemic” status one degree higher. Don’t kid yourself: if you’ve got it, you want to know so you can do something about it.

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