HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, in recognition of World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month, the Department of Health partnered with Pinnacle Health to offer free health screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure in the Capitol Rotunda. Local chefs also shared healthy recipes with free samples to all attendees. The event, which also came together through partnership from Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and other health care organizations, focused on providing the public with prevention tips and ways people can take control of their health. "Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the commonwealth, affecting about one in 10 Pennsylvanians," said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. "By getting screened and talking with your physician about steps you can take to prevent diabetes, you greatly increase your chances of staying healthy and avoiding the dangerous health consequences of the disease." Diabetes is a chronic disease that can occur in two forms, type 1 and type 2. Type 1, which comprises about five to 10 percent of total diabetes cases, occurs if the pancreas does not produce insulin. The more common type 2 occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin and/or the body cannot use the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone that helps convert sugar and starches from food into energy. Although the cause of diabetes is uncertain, genetics and lifestyle factors, such as obesity and a lack of exercise, can play a role. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by healthy eating habits and regular exercise. For those who already have diabetes, it is important for them to manage the disease by monitoring what they eat, exercising often, testing blood sugar regularly, and taking medication as prescribed. An estimated 86 million adults have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing the disease. Symptoms may include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue and irritability, frequent infections, blurred vision, and cuts or bruises that are slow to heal. Because approximately 90 percent of people with prediabetes do not know they have it, regular health screenings are critical to prevent onset of diabetes.