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Why you should get tested for diabetes, the silent killer

Tuesday was the American Diabetes Association's Alert Day, a day dedicated to convincing people to get checked to see if they're at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test. The American Diabetes Association explained that about 24 million people in California and the rest of the United States have diabetes but around 25 percent don't know it.

The scary truth is that diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDs combined, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes is known as a silent killer precisely because people are often unaware that they suffer from the disease. Blood sugar can act like a poison in the body and slowly increase until it leads to death.

While some people with type 2 diabetes notice symptoms such as increased urination, weight loss and blurry vision, others with the disease never experience symptoms. That's why it's important to get evaluated for diabetes even before you suspect something may be wrong. A simple blood test can quickly determine whether you have diabetes so you can begin treatment right away.

Even if you find out that you do have type 2 diabetes, there are many things you can do to better your chances at living a long and healthy life. There are now a variety of medications on the market that can keep blood sugar in check, and simple lifestyle changes such as healthy eating can also make a big difference.

Of course, the best way to deal with diabetes is to catch it will you still have prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association's test to find out if you are at risk of diabetes or may already have diabetes only involves eights questions, and you may even consider it to be the easiest test you've ever taken. Take the test today.

Source: Health.com, "5 Reasons to Get Tested for Diabetes Today," Rebecca Toback, March 26, 2013

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