9Health Fair: Heritage affects risks for diabetes

KUSA - It's important to know your family's health history because that can put you in the high-risk category for diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and another 79 million are pre-diabetic. That's about one-third of the population.

All minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics, have a higher risk for diabetes. The risk for diabetes is 77 percent higher among African Americans than among non-Hispanic white Americans. Hispanics have a 66 percent higher risk that non-Hispanic white Americans. Asian Americans have about a 30 percent higher risk for Type II diabetes.

The 9Health Fair blood screening tests your glucose level. The Hemoglobin A1C blood draw test ($25) shows your glucose level for the past two to three months. It can give you a good idea of whether or not you're at risk for diabetes. If you do have diabetes, this test will let you know if your treatment plan is working.

Type I diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Only 5 percent of people have this form. The body does not produce insulin, which is the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other foods into fuel for our bodies.

Type II diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the cells ignore it. It is important to learn if you have Type II diabetes so that you can start a treatment plan.

Sometimes people are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. By improving the balance between what you eat and drink, how much physical activity you do, and what diabetes medicine you take, you can try to keep pre-diabetes become full diabetes.

If diabetes goes untreated, your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart could suffer permanent damage. Long-term damage can lead to disabling and life-threatening conditions. It also increases your chances of heart disease or a stroke.

You can find a fair in your community by visiting the 9Health Fair website: http://www.9healthfair.org/findafair.
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(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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