Learn how to reduce your chances of developing this serious disease.
Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes. Two thirds of them have been diagnosed. That leaves one third (or about seven million people) who don't yet know that they have diabetes. Could you be one of them?
Diabetes can lead to serious problems, such as kidney failure, blindness and heart disease. Some of these problems can be prevented, but only if the disease is diagnosed and treated.
Don't wait for symptoms. Type 2 diabetes may not cause any noticeable symptoms for years. All too often, people only learn they have diabetes when they develop a major complication, such as kidney disease, heart attack or stroke.
If you could be at risk, get tested so you can take steps to slow or stop the damage that diabetes can cause.
If you have any risk factors, talk to your doctor about being tested. A simple blood test can tell if you have diabetes. In most cases, experts recommend a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test. This test is done after you've had nothing to eat or drink for at least eight hours.
In the meantime, you can start taking steps right away to lower your risk of diabetes:
These steps will not only lower your risk of diabetes, they can also help you get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. And you may find you feel a lot better, too.
A number of factors increase your risk of developing diabetes. You're more likely to get diabetes if:
The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing diabetes.