HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — An estimated 67,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes yearly in Pennsylvania and health experts stress the importance of diabetic screenings.
This can also help younger generations practice a healthy lifestyle.
Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends people get diabetic screenings at the age of 35.
However, if numbers continue to rise, that baseline age for screenings can get even younger.
Medical experts with UPMC say 20% of people who have diabetes have no idea.
“There’s absolutely no symptoms so if you don’t go to a doctor and you don’t get it checked out you will not know,” Dr. Renu Joshi said.
However, diabetic screenings can help fight against serious health complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness, and amputations.
There are many factors that can cause diabetes such as obesity which doctors say is increasing in younger people.
“Obesity causes insulin resistance which means your body does not utilize the insulin properly and that happens with obesity and then you don’t utilize insulin properly your sugar starts to go up,” Dr. Renu Joshi said.
“Things like getting enough sleep, how much sugar is in sweet beverages that we drink, how often we eat fast food,” Stefanski said.
Midstate dietitian and mother Julie Stefanski says parents have the ability to give healthier foods to their children.
“And parents just need to offer those things it’s a kids job to decide to eat those but kids need to be exposed to those foods to really know what they are and be willing to eat them,” Stefanski said.
Stefanski says focusing on positive behaviors can help with living an active and healthy lifestyle.
“We do have taste buds for a reason so it’s okay to enjoy healthy foods but you know it’s important to try and get people outside and maybe play a game before the meal or to take a walk there’s a lot of other activities you can do that don’t involve eating,” Stefanski said.
Families are encouraged to have healthier items on the dinner table as the holidays are approaching.