Consider getting tested for diabetes

Your blood sugar could reveal that you are part of a quiet epidemic.

A young doctor in scrubs and a mask.
Photo: Pexels/Thirdman.

If you have not been tested for diabetes, then you might be at a significant crossroads concerning your health. You may be diabetic or prediabetic and not even know it. So why not be proactive and choose to get tested? Understanding the risks and learning how to prevent diabetes is necessary for maintaining good health.   

It is important to keep in mind that:

  • If you have never been tested for diabetes by your healthcare team, you might be diabetic.
  • If you have no symptoms of diabetes and have not been tested by your healthcare team, you might be diabetic.
  • If you are over the age 45, or have a family history of diabetes, you are at higher risk for developing diabetes.
  • If you are a person of color and or part of an ethnic minority group, (e.g., Native American, Hispanic, Asian) you are at higher risk of developing the disease.

Why worry about Type 2 diabetes?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been closely studying the rapid growth of diabetes over the past few decades. Currently around 37 million adults in the U.S. have the condition. The CDC predicts that if the current epidemic is not controlled, diabetes could increase to as many as one in three people by the year 2050. Coincidentally, Michigan ranks higher than the national average for the incidence of diabetes among adults. Diabetes is a serious condition that if left unchecked can lead to serious health complications like nerve damage, blindness, heart and kidney disease.

What is driving the epidemic?

There are individual health behaviors that you can identify to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, heredity, age and race all play a factor. Lifestyle behaviors, obesity and lack of physical activity are said to be driving the epidemic.              

Diabetes testing for life

No matter how healthy you live or how well you avoid the associated risk factors of type 2 you still may develop this disease. Type 2, often referred to as adult-onset diabetes, can occur as we age.  What’s most important is talking with your healthcare provider about your blood glucose levels, your personal risk of type 2 and prevention.  

Whether you are diagnosed with diabetes or not during your lifetime, it’s still a good idea to start taking some steps to improve your overall health. Try incorporating the healthy eating tips from MyPlate and adding more movement into your daily life. Also, be sure to check out the free in-person and online health classes offered through MSU Extension.

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