DIABETES: Are You At Risk?

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes and don’t know it?

Did you know that some racial and ethnic groups have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes? If you are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes.

Other things that can increase your chances for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Having a close family member with diabetes – such as a mother, father, sister, or brother
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being physically active or rarely doing any physical activity
  • Being diagnosed with diabetes while you were pregnant
  • Being over the age of 45.

Diabetes can cause many health problems when it’s not treated. It can lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, loss of arms and legs, and even death.

Many people don’t get treatment because they don’t even know they have it. Often there are no symptoms. Ask your doctor if you should be tested for type 2 diabetes. If it’s caught early, you can get treatment to prevent or delay these health problems.

What can you do?

PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES The good news is that there are small steps you can take right now to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

First, take the Diabetes Risk Test [ http://ndep.nih.gov/ resources/ResourceDetail.aspx?ResId=252]. It asks simple questions about your weight, age, and family history.

You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing a small amount of weight if overweight or obese. Aim to lose 5% to 7% of your current weight – that’s 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Here are ways to do this:

  • Make healthy food choices every day. Choose healthy foods and snacks for the whole family. Good foods include fresh fruit and vegetables, lean sources of protein such as fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry beans and peas, low or fatfree milk and cheese products, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • Choose water to drink and eat smaller portions.
  • Be active at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Walk briskly, dance, or play with your children.

The Just One Step tool [YourDiabetesInfo.org/JustOneStep] from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) can help you make these changes.

Just One Step can help you create a simple plan and stick to it. Think about what matters to you and your health. Think about the changes that you can make. Keep learning and trying. You can take small steps to improve your health.

LEARN MORE NDEP has many other free resources – including videos – to help you learn about diabetes and take steps to better health. Call 1-888-693-NDEP (1-888-693-6337), TTY: 1-866-569-1162, or visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org for more information on preventing type 2 diabetes. Ask for Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, a tip sheet called It’s Never Too Early to Prevent Diabetes, and a tip sheet for children at risk called Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes, in English or Spanish.

You are the key to your diabetes care. Unlock the door to your future good health.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.