Mercy hospital hosts testing on Diabetes Alert Day

Mercy Tiffin Hospital is to offer a diabetes risk test Tuesday, which is Diabetes Alert Day.

Call registered nurse Jan Dickerson at (419) 455-7743 to discuss the test or stop by the information desk at the hospital and ask to take the test 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The diabetes risk test asks users to answer questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks 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.

Diabetes strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and about 7 million do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, underactive (living a sedentary lifestyle) and older than 45. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk.

Diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after onset of the disease, after complications have time developed. Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

Studies have shown type 2 diabetes often can be prevented or delayed by losing 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating.