CONTACT: Seth Boffeli, Communications Director, 608-266-1683
CHECK YOUR RISK FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
March 23rd is Diabetes Alert Day
MADISON— March 23rd is American Diabetes Alert Day and state health
officials urge people to learn their risk for developing type 2 diabetes
“Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that affects the way your body
uses sugar. If diabetes is left untreated or not controlled, high blood
glucose levels can slowly damage blood vessels and nerves,” said Dr.
Seth Foldy, State Health Officer. “Type 1 diabetes is not preventable.
However, studies have shown you can possibly delay or even prevent type 2
diabetes with regular physical activity, a healthy diet and proper weight
control. There is a lot you can do to learn your risks and to take action.”
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is usually diagnosed before the
age of 30. With this type of diabetes, the body produces little or no
insulin, which the body needs to control the amount of sugar in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes, which may be preventable, is usually diagnosed after
the age of 40 but it is being seen more frequently in younger age groups.
With type 2 diabetes, the body produces some but not enough insulin, and
the body may not use the insulin as it normally should.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they have
"pre-diabetes" -- blood glucose levels that are higher than
normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
“An estimated 1.06 million adults 20 years old and above in Wisconsin
have pre-diabetes,” Foldy said. “Three-fourths of people with diabetes
have no symptoms. Testing through your health care provider is the best
way to find out if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you
learn you have the disease, then you can get started on a treatment plan.”
Foldy added that major disparities exist in diabetes prevalence. In
Wisconsin, American Indians have the highest rate of type 2 diabetes, at
almost six times the rate of whites. African Americans and Hispanics have
the second and third highest rates in Wisconsin -- nearly one and a half
times more than whites. Asians have a diabetes rate just slightly higher
than whites in Wisconsin.
Communities can promote healthier environments and reduce the risk of
type 2 diabetes by:
· Asking restaurants, school lunch programs, vending companies, and work
cafeterias to offer healthy food choices
· Working with grocery stores and markets to increase available fruit and
· Promoting programs to expand community physical activity opportunities,
such as creating new biking/walking paths or opening school gyms and pools
for community use
· Encouraging everyone to know the risk factors for developing diabetes
· Joining and encouraging others to take part in diabetes awareness and
“Studies show type 2 diabetes is linked to family history, increasing
age, lack of physical activity, and being overweight,” Foldy said. “While
you can’t change your family history, you can make sure you are
proactive in possibly delaying or even preventing type 2 diabetes.”
For a paper risk test to determine if you are at high risk for
developing type 2 diabetes, go to:
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April 18, 2013