Between 2010 and 2015, the number of adults in Kentucky with diabetes doubled to a whopping 13.4 percent – and it continues to grow. Another 160,000 people in the state are living with undiagnosed diabetes and don’t even know it.
That’s why the American Diabetes Association has declared today Diabetes Alert Day, a day set aside for folks to assess their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and begin to do something about it.
Who’s at risk for Type 2 diabetes?
In a person with Type 2 diabetes, the body can’t make enough insulin – a hormone created in the pancreas that helps the body regulate blood glucose (sugar). The buildup of glucose in the blood can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.
You might be at risk if you:
- Are 40 or older.
- Are a woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
- Have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes.
- Have ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- Are physically inactive.
- Are overweight.
How to control your risk
You can control your risk by:
- Staying at a healthy weight: These tips can help.
- Exercising: Start with a goal of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking.
- These additional tips might also be helpful.
Your doctor can tell you for sure whether you have diabetes or prediabetes – when blood glucose levels are high but high enough to be considered diabetic – and can recommend more actions to control your risk.