November has been Diabetes Awareness Month. As the rate of obesity in our country continues to climb, so does the rate of type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.
People with type 2 diabetes have abnormally high levels of glucose, or blood sugar, because their pancreas can't make enough insulin, a hormone meant to control your blood glucose levels, or their bodies can't properly use it. Untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness or even death.
The good news: Type 2 diabetes may be delayed, even prevented, by making a few lifestyle changes. Don't procrastinate; the earlier you start making changes, the better off you are.
To find out if you're at risk for type 2 diabetes, see how many of the following factors apply.
If one or more of the statements apply to you, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes and should talk to your doctor about getting tested. A fasting blood glucose test, a simple blood test that's the preferred diabetes diagnostic test, gauges the amount of glucose in your blood — 126 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) or more indicates impaired glucose tolerance, with a high risk for developing diabetes. Your doctor may also advise you to have a glucose tolerance test, which involves drinking a glucose solution and having blood drawn at specified intervals.