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American Diabetes Association Alert Day Tomorrow [AUDIO]

What are your risk factors for type-2 diabetes? How can you prevent it? Is there anything you can do? A special nationwide initiative is taking place tomorrow around the country to spread awareness.

(Flickr User: ladytaz)

Tomorrow marks the 25th annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

It’s a wakeup call for everyone to asses their risk. According to recent figures from the CDC, a whopping 26 million people have it and seven million don’t even know they do. The organization is urging people to take the Diabetes Risk Test as a precaution.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.

Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

If left untreated, serious complications exist, such as kidney and heart disease, blindness, amputation and even death. It is also estimated that 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, putting them at an even greater risk of later developing type-2. A simple blood test can determine whether or not you have pre-diabetes or type-2.

“A healthy lifestyle, exercise and weight loss can decrease your risk of developing either one by 60 percent,” Martha Funnell, past chair of the National Diabetes Education Program, says

Having a family history of type-2 diabetes, being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, over the age of 45, or having a history of gestational diabetes all increase a person’s chances of developing type-2 diabetes. Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, people of African Ancestry, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders but can happen to anyone.

While type-1 is mostly genetic and virtually impossible to prevent, type 2 can be prevented with simple changes.

You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting their website or by calling 1-800-DIABETES.

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