Diabetes Risk Assessment

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is one of the most serious diseases in America, affecting more than 14 million people. But what's even more serious is the fact that millions of these Americans do not even realize that they have diabetes.

Diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin made does not work well. Insulin is the hormone that allows the sugar and starches in food to be converted into usable energy. As a result, very high levels of sugar (glucose) remain in the bloodstream. High blood sugar will eventually damage the blood vessels in a diabetic's body, leading to eye, kidney and heart disease.

Diabetes cannot be cured ... but it can be controlled

Early detection is an important part of diabetes treatment. Complications from diabetes can be prevented.
RISK ASSESSMENT:
If you suspect you could have diabetes, it is important that you take the time to find out if you are at risk. Simply answer the following questions and then add up your score to determine your risk for diabetes.

If the statement below is TRUE, write the number of points next to the statement in the blank. If the statement is NOT TRUE, place a zero in the blank.

I regularly have excessive thirst.
YES (3) __________ Pts.

I regularly experience excessive urination.
YES (3) __________ Pts.

I have experienced a dramatic, unexplained weight loss.
YES (3) __________ Pts.

I often feel tingling in my toes or feet.
YES (3) __________ Pts.

My wounds are slow to heal.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

I have delivered more than one baby weighing over 9 lbs. at birth.
YES (2) __________ Pts.

I have had frequent miscarriages.
YES (2) __________ Pts.

I have a brother or sister who has diabetes.
YES (2) __________ Pts.

I have a parent with diabetes.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

My weight is more than 20% over the "ideal" limit for my height.
YES (2) __________ Pts.

I often experience blurred vision.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

I am often extremely fatigued.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

I am of Native American descent.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

I am of Hispanic or Black descent.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

I am more than 40 years of age.
YES (1) __________ Pts.

TOTAL POINTS __________
SCORING

IF YOU SCORED OVER 5 POINTS:

You may be at high risk of having diabetes. It's important that you talk to your doctor about further evaluation.

IF YOU SCORED OVER 3 POINTS:

If you scored between 3 and 5 points, you probably have a low risk for diabetes. However, you should still remain aware of the symptoms of diabetes.

WARNING SIGNS of Type I DIABETES
Type I (insulin dependent diabetes), most frequently diagnosed in children and young adults, is indicated by the sudden appearance of:

  • Constant urination
  • Abnormal thirst
  • Unusual hunger
  • The rapid loss of weight
  • Irritability
  • Obvious weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • If these symptoms appear suddenly - CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!
WARNING SIGNS of Type II DIABETES
TYPE II (non-insulin dependent diabetes) usually occurs after the age of 30. It may include any of the above symptoms or:

  • Drowsiness
  • Itching
  • A family history of diabetes
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive weight
  • Tingling, numbness, pain in extremities
  • Easy fatigue
  • Skin infections and slow healing
Any of these warning signals can mean diabetes - CALL YOUR DOCTOR AT ONCE!

American Diabetes Association (link)