Today is Diabetes Alert Day. It's set aside as a wake-up call to determine your risk of having or developing the disease. One out of 12 people in Idaho have diabetes and a large amount of folks don't even know it.
Doctors said there are two types of diabetes. With Type 1 the body does not create insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. Type 2 is when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.
Local health educator Timalee Geiser said type 2 diabetes often shows no symptoms for several years. "If you're not getting your regular exams and having some blood work done, well that is the way you diagnose diabetes and you may not know that you have it," said Geiser.
As a part of Diabetes Alert day you can take a free risk test at http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/, to see if you're at risk for this disease. The test is eight questions and asks everything from your age and gender to your family's medical history.
Trina Vincent, owner of Inches - a - Weigh in Idaho Falls, said about 30 percent of her clients have diabetes. Her clients use a three-step program that combines eating fruits and vegetables, doing cardio, and using figure-shaping equipment.
"I've noticed if women lose the weight they're able to decrease there chances of diabetes -- if they're insulin resistant and if they're diabetic, they're less likely to get the side effects diabetes has," said Vincent.
She said maintaining a good weight is one of the best ways you can delay or stay free of type 2 diabetes; however, type 1 diabetes is not preventable.
"It causes a lot of complications that can lead to death, such as blindness, kidney failure and foot disease," said Geiser.
The American Diabetes Association said 26 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes and 7 million of them do not know they have it.