Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin which helps to control blood sugar levels. Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is an important source of energy for the body but when the body does not use insulin properly it causes blood sugars to be too high and can lead to serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and possibly the loss of toes, feet, or legs.
Why get screened?
Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be under-reported! Today, 1 in 10 U.S adults have diabetes, and if trends continue, 1 in 5 will have it by 2025.
An additional 88 million U.S. adults (that’s 1 out of every 3 adults!) has prediabetes and without intervention, many people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years, which puts them at risk of serious health problems.
Unfortunately, most people that have prediabetes and even type 2 diabetes do not have symptoms at first which puts them at risk of having complications from the disease. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially to the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes. The most common symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, increased thirst, and extreme hunger.
Who should get screened?
There are risk factors that put you at a higher risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, but you are at a higher risk if you are older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are not physically active, or are a woman who has had gestational diabetes.
While diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders, as well as the older population.
Learn the steps you can take today to lower your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 Diabetes.
Before most people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, they have what is called “prediabetes”. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Prediabetes can often be reversed with lifestyle changes. Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for cells in the body, and insulin takes sugar from the blood into cells. Having high blood sugar levels over time may cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, or the heart. Diabetes also puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Learn about your risk for heart disease.
Managing diabetes with lifestyle changes
- If you have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight if you’re overweight and getting regular physical activity can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A small amount of weight loss means around 5-7% of your body weight, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Regular physical activity means getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week!
- Knowing what to eat can be confusing but following some basic principles can be helpful in making healthful food choices. Learn how to make healthy food choices, learn how to read food labels, and maintain a healthy diet, without giving up all the foods you love. Click here to take our Nutrition Screening.
- Deal with stress. Ask for help if you need it. Talk to your family, friends, your healthcare provider, or mental health professional. Click here to take our Stress Screening.
- If you smoke, there is help! Click here for help.
Have questions about your results?
Talk with one of our 9Health Neighbor medical professionals who can answer your questions or provide you with resources for further evaluation. Call 1-800-332-3078 #2005 to leave a message and one of our medical volunteers will call you back within 24 hours.
Remember to always share the results of your screenings at your next health care provider visit.
There is a lot that can be done to reduce the risk for pre-diabetes as well as action taken to prevent the onset of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has a wealth of resources for people with diabetes. People with pre-diabetes can expect to benefit from much of the same advice for good nutrition and physical activity.