Millions of Americans Are at Risk for Diabetes. Here’s How to Get Screened
November is National Diabetes Month.
In the U.S., approximately 29.1 million people are living with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2). Medical expenditures for those people are as much as 2.3 times higher than for a person living without diabetes.
Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is most often diagnosed in children, teens and young adults.
Type 2 diabetes is more common. It makes up about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, yet it’s estimated that in 2015, as many as 7.2 million adults were undiagnosed. That same year, 84.1 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy but often goes away soon after delivery. However, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you and your baby are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Fortunately, there are simple and fairly inexpensive (and sometimes even free!) tests that can let you know if you have diabetes or if you’re at risk of developing it later in life.
Who Should Get Screened for Diabetes
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults aged 40 to 70 be screened for abnormal blood glucose and diabetes. However, if you or a family member are experiencing what may be symptoms of type 2 diabetes, you should talk to a medical professional about your concerns, regardless of age.
(Type 1 diabetes is unlike type 2 in that type 1 is too often diagnosed only when it reaches a critical point, meaning most symptoms may Continue reading