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Americans urged to take diabetes risk test

Diabetes Test Day (NTV News)

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Millions of Americans are unknowingly living with diabetes.

About 29 million Americans live with diabetes and according to the Centers for Disease Control, that's approximately 9.3 percent of the country's population.

"It's one out of three Americans who don't even know that they have diabetes and that is why it is important for people to be screened for diabetes,"said Internist at CHI Good Samaritan Medical Group, Bhavish Aubeelauck, M.D.

It is a disease that keeps the body from producing or responding to insulin normally.

"So, with diabetes what happens is your blood sugar in your body tends to stay higher and it eventually leads to complications such as you can have eye complications, kidneys, or even increases your chance of heart disease," said Aubeelauck.

Experts say the symptoms of this dangerous disease are subtle.

"The typical symptoms of diabetes is, if you have them, are eating a lot, drinking a lot, and going to the bathroom a lot," said CHI Good Samaritan Medical Group registered nurse, Shellie Berry, C.D.E. "And not all people have those symptoms."

This is why the American Diabetes Association and local doctors are urging everyone to go online and take a free one–minute diabetes risk test. It looks at potential risk factors like age, weight, lifestyle and family history. If it says you're at risk, the ADA suggests you get tested by your doctor.

"I want you not to get diabetes, but I want to tackle you when you're prediabetic," said Aubeelauck. "What are thing you can do? Increase your physical activity, that is very important, you cannot be sedentary. Go out, get off of the couch, walk, do thirty minutes of activity every day five times a week and then two days you do muscle strengthening."

Diet is also important.

"We need to watch out portion sizes," said Berry. "We need to watch what we consume, try and get more whole grains, whole vegetables and fruits in our diet rather than drinking juices, pop, doing processed foods."

Whether you have pre-diabetes, or diabetes Buffalo County Community Partners has help on the web.

"Just a click of a button, click down and see who the diabetic educators that are available in people's area," said Berry. "Or, what resources are available online that are trusted resources for patients to use ad we review this website very frequently throughout the year and make sure that we have the most up to date information on there."

Take a minute and fill out the quiz to see if you're at risk, and possibly save yourself from a diabetes diagnosis.

To follow this story, and all of Jessica Stevenson's local news coverage, you can find her on facebook and twitter.

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