By: Patrick Totty
If you’re a regular visitor to the Diabetes Health website, chances are you’ve been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for some time. Your experience with the disease has taught you a lot about its warning signs and the lifestyle habits that can make it worse.
Your experience can be valuable when it comes to talking to friends and family members whom you believe may be on track to developing diabetes. One low-key, easy resource to tell them about is the American Diabetes Association’s “Stop Diabetes” website. It offers a quick and simple test that visitors can take to determine whether they have pre-diabetes.
Tell your friends to look for the line on the homepage that reads, “One in five Americans is at risk for type 2 diabetes.” They can click on the button below it that says “Find Out Now,” and it will take them straight to the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test.
If they’d rather do it over the phone, the ADA offers the test at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).
The ADA website and phone line are responses to the unnerving statistic that an estimated 20 percent of Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk of developing type 2. Of the 24 million people who have full-blown diabetes, the ADA estimates that almost six million of them do not realize that they have the disease.
Pre-diabetes encompasses a number of factors, including being overweight, not getting enough exercise, being older than 45 years, having a family history of the disease, or being a member of several ethnic groups that run a higher risk of type 2: blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders. (Also considered at risk are women who have had gestational diabetes or given birth to babies weighing over nine pounds.)
The steps that people with pre-diabetes can take to avoid or delay the onset of type 2 are pretty simple: exercise regularly with the goal of losing five to seven percent of body weight and eat a healthier diet-cut down on carbohydrates and empty calories, favor fresh over processed foods, and consume only moderate amounts of alcohol.
* * *