Diabetes Alert Day: Know Your Risk

Sixty seconds can make a 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 of diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10% of adults in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes and 33% of adults have prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association sponsors Diabetes Alert Day® every year on the fourth Tuesday in March to raise public awareness of the seriousness of diabetes, especially when it is undiagnosed or untreated. The anonymous test can be taken online or downloaded as a paper version at https://www.diabetes.org/risk-test.

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The questions will relate to the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Some of these risk factors you cannot change like 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 had a parent, brother or sister who had diabetes, your risk increases. As you get older, your risk for diabetes increases. Certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are more likely to develop it as well.  

There are other risk factors where you can make lifestyle changes to decrease your risk.  People who are inactive and/or overweight are at 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, eating healthy is one of the most important areas 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. 

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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 you can make to lower your risk, start today. If your risk level is high, follow up with your healthcare provider. The good news is that diabetes is controllable. The earlier you take control of diabetes; you can prevent or delay some of the complications. Over time, it 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.   

Know your diabetes risk so you can take action today.

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