Egyptian Health Department asks residents to consider diabetes on American Diabetes Association Alert Day and research their own risk for the disease.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. It is estimated that at least 1 out of 4 people with diabetes don’t even know they have the disease, according to a release from the department. Additionally, nearly 79 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, a condition that increases their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
In support of American Diabetes Association Alert Day — Tuesday, March 26 — the National Diabetes Education Program, local health departments throughout Southern Illinois are encouraging people to find out if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputation, and even death.
The department says those with a family history of diabetes – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes – or those who had diabetes during pregnancy – could have a higher chance of developing the disease.
Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, physically inactive, and over the age of 45. Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, people of African Ancestry, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
The department encourages everyone to know their risk for type 2 diabetes by talking to their family about their family history of diabetes and finding out if you – or someone you love – could be at risk for type 2 diabetes.
The NDEP has tools you can use to learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes and steps you can take to delay or prevent this disease. Visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/AlertDay2013 to find some of the following:
- Diabetes Risk Test. This tool asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- NDEP’s Family Health History Quiz asks four true/false questions to help people better understand their family health history of diabetes
- NDEP’s 4 Questions You Should Ask Your Family about Diabetes and Family Health History offers ways to help you talk with your family about your family’s health history of diabetes.
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing a small amount of weight – 5 to 7 percent which is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person – and becoming more active. Action steps include making healthy food choices and being active at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
Those at risk for type 2 diabetes may take the first step to make lifestyle changes to improve health with NDEP’s Just One Step online tool (www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/JustOneStep). They may also call 1-888-693-NDEP
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