Have a couple of spare minutes today? Resist the urge to spend them on Cute Overload looking at puppy pics, and use them to find out your chances of developing type-2 diabetes instead. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the American Diabetes AssociationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Alert Day, which was created to encourage people to take the ADAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Diabetes Risk Test.
Diabetes affects almost 26 million people in the U.S., or 8.3 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For adults in the U.S., itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
In 2010, one in three people in the U.S. aged 20 or older had prediabetes, meaning that their blood glucose levels were abnormally high and that they faced a higher risk of getting diabetes. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worse: Only 11 percent of the people with prediabetes knew they had the condition, according to a new report from the CDC. In many cases, people with prediabetes donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t experience any symptoms. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why we really advocate that people who are at risk get screening bloodwork done,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Brandy Panunti, MD, chair of endocrinology at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.
People who are overweight and sedentary have a higher possibility of developing diabetes, as do African Americans, Hispanic people, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Having a family history of diabetes, having had gestational diabetes, or having given birth to a baby over nine pounds can also increase your risk.
Even if you are on your way to developing diabetes, you can make lifestyle changes to seriously turn things around, says Panunti. The key, of course, is knowing whether youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at risk. Head to the American Diabetes AssociationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s websiteÃ‚Â or Facebook page, or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) to take the Diabetes Risk TestÃ¢â‚¬”a quick series of questions about you and your lifestyleÃ¢â‚¬”for free. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy to take,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Lurelean B. Gaines, the ADAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s president of health care and education. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a matter of minutes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
You should also speak with a doctor about your odds of developing diabetes, especially if the test results indicate that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at risk.
Done with the test? Check out these resources to learn more about diabetes:
Diabetes StatisticsÃ‚Â (from the ADA) National Diabetes Prevention Program (from the CDC) National Diabetes Education Program (from the NIH) Quiz: Do You Know Diabetes?Ã‚Â (from Novo Nordisk, the leading diabetes pharmaceutical company) Diabetes Prevention (from the FDA)
More from Women's Health:
Diabetes-Proof Your Life
Type 2 Diabetes in Women: Young, Slim, and Diabetic
15 Celebrities with Diabetes
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