Most people take it for granted that the medical community will address all of their health care needs. However, our health care system does not work that way. What you don’t know can hurt you! In the case of diabetes, new reports suggest that millions of people should be tested to see if they have the disease.According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million people in the United States or 7.8% of the population have diabetes. Surprisingly, there are nearly 5.7 million people who do not know they have diabetes.Guidelines for TestingDiabetes is considered a “silent” disease as there may be no symptoms for up to 10 years after its’ onset. Unfortunately, about 50% of patients have blood vessel damage by the time of diagnosis.With this alarming information in mind it becomes imperative that all of us become more involved in our own medical care. The American Diabetes Association has specific guidelines to determine when you should be tested for diabetes and pre-diabetes. The guidelines for testing are available at http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/diagnosis/.Take ActionA major research study concluded that millions of high-risk people can delay or avoid developing type 2 diabetes through changes in their lifestyle. Discuss these findings with your doctor and then take action! Keeping your blood glucose levels close to normal substantially reduces your risk of developing diseases of the eye, kidney, nerves, and heart.Remember, to receive the health care you need and deserve, be involved, be active and dare to know!