Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day®. The association urges you to get tested for type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. It occurs when the body does not properly produce or use insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that helps your body convert the food you eat into energy.
Of the 13 million+ Americans who have or have had cancer, eight to 18 percent also have diabetes. Overall, about 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and nearly 7 million do not realize they have it.
You have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are:
- Physically inactive
- Over the age of 45
- African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander
Other risk factors include having:
- Prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes
- A parent or sibling who has type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Abnormal levels of HDL cholesterol
- Gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Blood vessel problems that affect the heart, brain or legs
- Acanthosis nigricans, a disorder in which the skin around the neck or armpits appears to have a dark, velvety rash
Diagnosing diabetes early on can help you live a healthier life and prevent risks for developing other serious health problems diabetes can lead to, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage and amputation. Eating right and exercising regularly are fundamental to preventing and managing diabetes. Oral medications and/or insulin may also be prescribed to treat the disease.
To identify your potential risks for type 2 diabetes, take an online diabetes risk test. Also, talk to your doctor and ask if your blood should be tested for the disease.
Learn more about type 2 diabetes and see the American Diabetes Association’s Facebook page for additional information. See our site for information on managing cancer and diabetes, as well as helpful nutrition tips.
Sources: American Diabetes Association and National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse