Time to learn Diabetes risk

— Tuesday, March 27, marks the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) annual Alert Day, an opportunity to sound the alarm about the prevalence and risks of type 2 diabetes by asking Americans to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test.

The free, anonymous risk test is available online at diabetes.org/alertday or via a printable questionnaire in English and in Spanish, and only takes a minute to complete.

By answering questions such as “Do you have a family history of diabetes?” and “Are you physically active?” participants can learn if they’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in just 60 seconds.

With the risk test results in hand, the next step is to seek help to manage things like weight, diet and exercise.

There are classes to help learn more about diabetes, said local diabetes outreach educator Jenny Chavez, RN of Astria Sunnyside Hospital.

“We offer diabetes management classes each month in English and Spanish,” she said.

Chavez, who conducts outreach efforts for local groups such as Inspire, Nuestra Casa, and the annual Spring Bash.

She said classes are offered at the hospital on the first Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon and 6-8 p.m. Classes in Spanish are offered on the first Thursday of the month for during the same time frame.

Those interested in learning more about the local diabetic management classes can visit the hospital’s website site at www.astriahealth. Under resources and education tab, she said.

An estimated 7.2 million Americans with diabetes are currently undiagnosed, with 173,000 undiagnosed in Washington specifically.

In addition, 84 million American adults have prediabetes—a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Nine out of 10 people with the condition don’t know they have it, and prediabetes almost always precedes a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. People with diabetes are at significant risk for serious complications, including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations. However, you can prevent or delay your risk for developing type 2 diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes.


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