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 individuals can take a diabetes risk test to determine their changes of having the disease.
SOUND BITE: “The diabetes risk test is a series of questions that a person can go onto the web site or call. The questions have to do with: What are your personal risk factors – things such as your weight, your age, family history, your particular habits. Whether you are sedentary, whether you sit around a lot or are you a snacker? Do you tend to eat out a lot?”
Bryant says the individuals who might be at risk for diabetes include those sit at a desk most of the day, don’t get much exercise, and don’t eat a healthy diet. She explains who should take the diabetes risk test.
SOUND BITE: “People who have a family history definitely should take the test. People who have parents, grandparents, uncles, siblings who already have diabetes should definitely take the test. If they are overweight. If they are over 40. Also any woman who had what’s called gestational diabetes during their pregnancies should take the test.”
Individuals interested in taking the diabetes risk test can go the website www.stopdiabetes.org or call 1-800-diabetes. Anyone who is at high risk should see their primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment.
This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.