Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It?

Here’s a statistic that bears repeating: an estimated 40 percent of adults with diabetes don’t know they have it.

That’s 4 in 10 people with the disease who are not getting treatment that could prolong their life and protect them from many serious health problems, such as blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart disease, and stroke. Wow.

Here’s another startling fact. Although 79 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes — a condition that increases your risk for type 2 diabetes — nearly 90 percent don’t know it, according to a new report last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Are you one of them? Are you willing to take a minute right now and find out?

March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day — a one-day “wake-up call” for EVERYONE to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The online test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.

It’s quick. It’s painless. But it could be just the wake up call you or a family member needs.

Tony and Lynne remember getting just such a wake up call. Both were in their late ’30s, and in good shape. Or, so they thought. They exercised and ate healthy, for the most part. Since they didn’t have any health complaints, they hadn’t been too consistent about getting regular checkups. It wasn’t intentional. They just got busy with life and the time just got away from them.

Ironically, allergy season was the turning point for Tony. Weary from the constant headaches, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and sneezing, he relented to seeing an allergist — which also necessitated a visit to his long-lost primary care provider for a much-needed checkup.

That’s when he got the unexpected news. “My blood test showed that I was diabetic. It came as a complete shock. I had no idea,” he said. “If I hadn’t gone to the doctor about my allergies, I might not have known for years.”

Tony and Lynne found out that living with diabetes isn’t all that hard. It just takes awareness and a little practice. Now, they are thankful for the annoying ragweed that tipped them off about a silent disease. Otherwise, they may not have found out about it until years later – after much damage had been done to Tony’s health.

Take one minute NOW to find out if you, or someone you love, is at risk. Start the conversation. Take the test!

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If you think you may have prediabetes or diabetes, contact your primary care physician. Need a doctor? We can help! Contact the HealthNet health center nearest you.

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