Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S., and a quarter of them do not even know that they have it.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which a person’s body does not produce or properly process sugar. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness and a number of life-threatening medical complications. Caren Bryant, certified diabetes educator at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says the test can help determine an individual’s chances of having the disease.
“They ask you your age, if you’re overweight, if there is a family history, ... what type of exercise you get – those issues that make us predisposed to developing diabetes. ”
Bryant says the individuals who might be at risk for diabetes include those who sit at a desk most of the day, don’t get much exercise, and don’t eat a healthy diet. She explains the readings for diabetes and prediabetes.
“Prediabetes is basically blood sugars that are fasting blood sugars that are typically under 125 and a random blood sugar under 200. Random means any old time you test. It doesn’t matter what you ate, when you ate it, or what you drank with it as long as you are under 140, you do not have prediabetes.” ... If that number is 141 to 199, you have prediabetes . . .”
If blood test results indicate prediabetes, the individual needs to see a physician for evaluation and treatment. Anyone interested in taking the diabetes risk test can go the website www.diabetes.org or call 1-800-diabetes.Ruth Slottag