Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

by Madeleine Kolb

Did you know that approximately 24 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, a chronic progressive disease? A disease which can double your risk of heart attack or stroke? A disease which—if not well managed over the years—can result in blindness, kidney failure, or the need for amputation of your feet or lower legs.  

And did you know that approximately ¼ of the people who have type 2 diabetes do not even know that they have it. The fabulous Patti LaBelle (shown here) was one. Her first symptom was collapsing on stage while she was performing. She was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

So you could say that Patti LaBelle and I have something in common. We both have type 2 diabetes, and we’re both managing it well. You could even say that we’re both lucky, because—as bad as type 2 diabetes is—it’s worse to have it and not know it  than to know that you have it. Because if you don’t know that you have the disease, you’re probably not doing what you need to do to manage it.

To raise awareness of type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) declared March 23 as ADA Alert Day. The purpose was to encourage people to take the Diabetes Risk Test shown below and join the movement to STOP DIABETES. The test estimates whether you are at risk, based upon your answers to questions about the risk factors, including age, family history, blood pressure, weight, and level of physical activity.  

I strongly urge you to take the test and to urge others, such as your parents or grandparents, to take it also. If the results indicate that you have some risk factors for pre-diabetes or diabetes, you’ll be directed to “Click here to find out what they are.”

After that, go back by clicking on “Your Risk Message.”

Next click on “Learn More” for a wealth of information about type 2 diabetes, the risk factors, diet, exercise, monitoring blood-glucose, and so on.

And remember the words of Patti LaBelle, who says “I have diabetes. It doesn’t have me.”


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