American Diabetes Alert Day: are You at Risk?

Are You at Risk for Diabetes? The U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON) and other health organizations across the country are using today as a day of awareness about the disease.

Some 292,000 Michigan residents have diabetes and don’t know it. March 27th is American Diabetes Alert Day, a nationwide public awareness campaign to identify those at risk for developing or already have diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that can damage one’s eyes, heart and kidneys. Early detection and education is crucial in preventing or reducing these serious health complications. You are at risk for diabetes if you answer yes to ONE or more of the following:

* I am age 45 and older

* I am overweight

* I get little or no exercise

* I have a family history of diabetes

* I have high blood pressure (130/80 or higher)

* I am of certain ethnic decent (African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian American and Native American)

* I am a woman who had diabetes when pregnant or had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth

The Diabetes Risk Test is available by calling the UP Diabetes Outreach Network at (906) 228-9203 or going online to and clicking on Diabetes Alert Day.

Warning signs of diabetes include:

* going to the bathroom a lot

* feeling hungry or thirsty all the time

* blurry vision

* losing weight without trying

* feeling tired all the time

* tingling/numbness in the hands or feet

* cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

80 percent of people show no warning signs of diabetes when they are diagnosed. If you have any of the above risk factors or signs of diabetes, talk with your doctor or health care provider about being tested for diabetes. One or two simple blood tests can detect diabetes. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes; however, early detection can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications.

To find a Diabetes Educator in your area, contact your local hospital or the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network at (906) 228-9203 or online at .