Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States. Many people have diabetes yet they have not been diagnosed. Are you at risk for diabetes? If you ask the average person this question, they would say no. Many people are unaware of their diabetes risk level. Here’s a short story about Jennifer*, who learned about risk for having diabetes.
Jennifer, a 51 year old female of Hispanic heritage, is a married, working mother of two. Family is very important to her, as her children are now teenagers. Her marriage has been going great for 25 years. Her job as a team manager for a computer firm was exciting, but was stressful, as she often had to bring work home. Jennifer’s parents were both living, however her father has had Type 2 diabetes for fifteen years, and takes one pill for it every day. Her OBGYN told her years ago that her blood sugar levels were high during both pregnancies; however, everything seemed to return to normal after giving birth. Recently, at one of Jennifer’s regular doctor’s appointments, the doctor told her to lose weight, for she may develop diabetes. She was shocked, as she had not even thought that she was indeed at risk for having diabetes. All Jennifer knew was that taking that one pill for high blood pressure was enough, and she did not want to take any more pills. She had started a walking program, at least three days per week, for about thirty minutes each day, but deep down wondered if that would be enough. Some days exercise was placed on the back burner, because her schedule was so busy. Her kids always needed to be taken somewhere for school and extra-curricular activities and she had to take care of the home, fix dinner, work, find time for other family activities. But in the back of her mind, Jennifer wondered if she would end up having diabetes. She decided to go online to see what other information was available about diabetes, and she took the Diabetes Risk Test, which said she was at high risk for diabetes. Jennifer was devastated. She thought to herself “What did that mean?” She printed her results and took them to her doctor, who was able to explain her risk levels and Jennifer decided to be more proactive and prevent diabetes.
Jennifer learned from the test, that she had a few risk factors that she had not though about. Her risk factors included gestational diabetes (diabetes while being pregnant), family history (her dad had diabetes), high blood pressure, age, and high body-mass index (BMI, which is a measurement of weight versus height). While some risk factors could not be helped (family history), she knew she could work hard at losing weight and reducing stress in her life.
March 28, 2017 is Diabetes Alert Day. It’s a day where we bring awareness to diabetes. While people learn to manage diabetes, often, if untreated, it can cause problems with body systems including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and foot amputations.
Visit http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/alert-day/ and take the Diabetes Risk Test. It’s free, anonymous, and can be done in less than one minute. Learn about your risk and prevent diabetes today. St Hope Foundation has health care professionals that can help manage diabetes or determine if you are at risk for diabetes.
For more information, call St Hope Foundation to set an appointment.