March 18, 2014
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.
Sara Lopinski, diabetes educator at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says a simple test can help determine an individual’s chances of having the disease.
“The diabetes risk test is a quick seven-question test to determine if you are at risk for diabetes. One would answer questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.”
Lopinski says two groups of individuals are at risk for diabetes. First, older Americans and second, individuals 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 a blood glucose, or sugar, test that’s higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes, so it would be a fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter.”
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.