Diabetes Alert Day – Know Your Risk and Take Action

March 22, 2016

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Diabetes Prevention Program is teaming up with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to promote Diabetes Alert Day on March 22, a perfect day to understand the risk for pre-diabetes and how to prevent or control diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.

This year, ADA is encouraging everyone to take its Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. The online assessment helps users evaluate their risks for developing diabetes. Once completed, users can share the information with their doctors to learn how to manage their risks for developing diabetes through proper diet, exercise and other physician-recommended health behaviors.

“The American Diabetes Association’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test is an easy, free method Georgians can use to evaluate their diabetes risks, which can be used to begin conversations about their health status with a physician,” said Allison Smith, MPH, CHES, DPH’s Diabetes and Vision program manager. “The most accurate way to test for type 2 diabetes is to get a Hemoglobin A1C test that shows the average blood glucose levels of an individual for the past two to three months.”

Diabetes is one of the most common, serious and costly chronic diseases in Georgia. Approximately 11 out of every 100 Georgia adults have diabetes. The symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive hunger, extreme thirst, blurred vision, fatigue and nausea.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It is known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. There is no known prevention for type 1 diabetes; however, Type 2 diabetes is preventable. It is mainly diagnosed among adults when the body does not produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range of 70mg/dL and 110 mg/dL.

According to Smith, managing diabetes or lowering your risk for developing the condition can be as easy as starting with your diet and daily exercise habits.

“It is recommended that people working to prevent diabetes pay close attention to what they consume – eat more whole grain and low carbohydrate foods, as well as a diet rich in healthy vegetables” she said. “You can also find time to increase your movement every day by doing simple things like walking around your neighborhood, taking the steps at work or taking a bike ride.”

For more personalized recommendations on managing or preventing diabetes, Smith recommends consulting with a physician or nutritionist.

“Everyone’s body and health status is different,” she said. “Thus, it’s important to understand how to manage diabetes in a manner that is catered to your personal needs. That’s the best way for you to have success in beating diabetes and living a healthy life.”

For more information on diabetes prevention, visit DPH online at dph.georgia.gov/diabetes-prevention

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