American Diabetes Association Alert Day on Tuesday, March 27 is a one-day “wake up” call that encourages everyone to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to taking the test, signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Drowsiness or dizziness
However, only your doctor can tell for sure if you have Prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood sugar measures between 100-126 on 2 different occasions or the A1C is between 5.7% and 6.5%
Diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood sugars measure over 126 on 2 different occasions or the A1C is over 6.5%
Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment, delaying or preventing some complications of diabetes such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and death.
A serious disease
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States. A quarter of them, roughly 7 million, do not even know they have it.
An additional 79 million, or 1 in 3 American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.
While everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, people who are overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle, and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people who have a family history of the disease are also at an increased risk.
What you can do
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight through regular physical activity and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent pre-diabetes or the onset of type 2 diabetes.
WakeMed can help. Our Diabetes Management Program pairs you with a caring, experienced staff of diabetes nurse clinicians and dietitians who can help you learn to control your diabetes by eating healthy, exercising and taking your medications properly. This education and support is offered through our Outpatient Program, and if you need to be in the hospital, through our Inpatient Services. Services are available at WakeMed’s Raleigh campus and Wake Med Cary Hospital.
Carol V. White, BSN, RN-BC, CDE is a Diabetes Patient Educator at WakeMed’s Adult Diabetes Management Program.