Diabetes changes how your body uses food. Most of the food you eat changes into glucose (sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy. The pancreas is an organ near your stomach. It makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps sugar from food get into your body’s cells.

When you have diabetes, your body:

• Doesn’t make enough insulin, or

• Can’t use the insulin it makes.

Since your body can’t use sugar without insulin, this causes high blood sugar. You need some sugar in your blood. But too much isn’t healthy.

Steps you can take

1. Eat a balanced diet.

2. Take your medications as prescribed.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Get routine health exams.

Could you have diabetes & not know it?

Sixteen million americans have diabetes. But, 1 out of 3 do not know it!

Diabetes is a silent disease. By the time it is diagnosed, damage to arteries, eyes, nerves, and kidneys has been going on for seven to ten years. Every minute at least one person is diagnosed with diabetes. Your are at high risk if:

• You are age 45 and older.

• You are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander.

• You are overweight.

• You have high blood pressure (at or above 140/90).

• You have a family history of diabetes.

• You have a history of diabetes during pregnancy or you are a woman who have had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth,

Initially, most people with diabetes do not have symptoms

However, if you have any of these symptoms, contact your health care professional right away;

• Extreme thirst

• Frequent urination

• Unexplained weight loss

Are you at risk? Take this test. Know the score.

Find out if you are at risk for having diabetes NOW. Write in the points next to each statement that is true for you. If a statement is not true; put a zero. Then add your total score.

• My weight is equal to or above that listed on the “At-Risk Weight Chart” (see below) Yes 5

• I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise during a usual day Yes 5

• I am between 45 and 64 years of age Yes 5

• I am 65 years old or older Yes 9

• I am a woman who has had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth Yes 1

• I have a sister or brother with diabetes Yes 1

• I have a parent with diabetes Yes 1


If You Scored 3-9 Points: You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don’t just forget about it. You may be at higher risk in the future. New guidelines recommend that everyone age 45 and over consider being tested for the disease every three years. However, people at high risk should consider being tested at a younger age.

If You Scored 10 or More Points: You could be at high risk for diabetes- Only your health care professional can determine if you have diabetes. See your health care professional soon and find out for sure.

At-risk Weight Chart

Height Weight

Feet/inches pounds

Without shoes without


4’10” 129

4’11” 133

5’0” 138

5’1” 143

5’2” 147

5’3” 152

5’4” 157

5’5” 162

5’6” 167

5’7” 172

5’8” 177

5’9” 182

5’10” 188

5’11” 193

6’0” 199

6’1” 204

6’2” 210

6’3” 216

6’4” 221

If you weigh the same or more than the amount listed for your height, you may be at risk for diabetes. This chart is based on a measure called the Body Mass Index (BMI). The chart shows unhealthy weights for men and women age 35 or older at the listed heights. At-risk weights are lower for individuals under age 35.

This article was provided by Horizons/55, 20 East Ave., Lewiston. For more information on their programs please call 795-2905 or toll free 1-800-564-4555

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