Could you be one of the 292,000 Michigan residents who has diabetes and doesn’t know it? Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday, March 26 and is a nationwide, one-day wake-up call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. In support of Diabetes Alert Day, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) & the U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON) are encouraging people to find out if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputation, and even death.
Many serious health problems run in families, including diabetes. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, you have a higher chance of developing the disease. Understanding your family’s history of diabetes can help you take action now to prevent or delay the development of this deadly and disabling condition.
Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, physically inactive, and over the age of 45. Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, people of African Ancestry, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Alarmingly, 80% of people with type 2 diabetes show no warning signs of diabetes when they are diagnosed.
UPDON has NDEP tools available on their website that you can use to learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes and steps you can take to delay or prevent this disease. Visit www.diabetesinmichigan.org to find the following:
- Diabetes Risk Test. This tool asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- NDEP’s Family Health History Quiz asks four true/false questions to help people better understand their family health history of diabetes
- NDEP’s 4 Questions You Should Ask Your Family about Diabetes and Family Health History offers ways to help you talk with your family about your family’s health history of diabetes.
If you are concerned about type 2 diabetes, talk with your doctor or health care provider about being tested. One or two simple blood tests can detect diabetes. Early detection can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications. Call UPDON at 906.228.9203 or dial 2-1-1 to find a diabetes educator in your area. The UP Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON), which is administered by UPCAP, has been helping to strengthen diabetes detection, prevention and care across the Upper Peninsula since 1985. Grants and donations help support the work of UPDON.