Determining Your Diabetes Risk
Martha Fuhrman teaches people about diabetes. She said the problem now is pre-diabetes: people who could soon become diabetic if they don't change their bad habits.
"For pre-diabetes, you really have to be aware of your risk factors because there aren't really any warning signs or symptoms," she explained.
An on-line test can help identify personal risk factors.
St. Mary's Health Center employee Heather Feeler scored 10 on the test, putting her in the high-risk category.
"It is kind of an eye-opener when you go into a screening and think, 'Oh, I'll do fine.' And it kind of opens your eyes that I need to talk more with my physician and definitely exercise a little more," she admitted, "and cut out some of those foods that aren't so good."
The American Diabetes Association says more than 20 million Americans have the disease, but one-third of them don't know it yet. And, it's hard to put a number on people who have pre-diabetes.
Fuhrman said a "healthy lifestyle, what works good for the person with pre-diabetes, is good for everyone."
About half of diabetics are older than 65. So, with today's increasingly older population, Fuhrman said it's important to talk to your doctor about being tested.
The on-line test measures risk factors based on a person's age, weight and family history.