Did you know 1 out of 4 people in America over the age of 65 have diabetes? It is even more startling to find out that it is estimated that 1 out of 3 people over the age of 20 in the US have prediabetes, which if not treated, will most likely lead to diabetes. That is 33% of the adult population!
If you are an adult and do not know if you have been tested for diabetes, a phone call to your doctor’s office will help put your mind at ease, or will hopefully prompt you to be tested. A simple blood test will show if you fall into the prediabetes or diabetes category.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE TESTED FOR DIABETES:
- High blood sugar levels cause damage to every part of the human body over time. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness among adults. It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
- We cannot feel high blood sugar levels for the most part, until high blood sugar levels start to cause damage to the body, and we feel the effects. Because of this damaging aspect, higher-than-normal blood sugar levels start to steal away the vitality of men and women earlier in life than it should. High blood sugar over a period of time can cause you to feel fatigued, to have frequent infections, to heal cuts and bruises more slowly, to have increased thirst and urination or to have blurred vision. Yet you may have attributed these symptoms to just having a stressful job or to getting older.
KNOW YOUR RISK
Although you cannot feel high blood sugar levels, you can know if you are at higher risk for the development of diabetes. If you answer any of the following questions YES, then you are at increased risk for developing diabetes.
1. Are you over 45 and overweight?
2. Are you under 45 and overweight with high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes?
3. Do you get little or no exercise?
4. If you are a woman have you had a baby who weighed more than 9 lbs at birth?
THE GOOD NEWS
You can live a healthy life if you develop diabetes. Ask your doctor about attending diabetes education classes to find out how. If you have prediabetes you can reverse the risk or delay its development, by increasing your physical activity and cutting back on your portions at meals and snacks to help lose excess weight. A Registered Dietitian can help give you the right facts, accountability and encouragement for success in this. Don’t delay if you are at higher risk, ask about being tested for diabetes, or find a local diabetes screening event.