Diabetes Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the time to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The Kovler Diabetes Center sees patients from around the world, treating them for every type and form of diabetes. But Diabetes Alert Day is a great reason to take pause and realize that everywhere around us is someone walking around with diabetes and doesn’t even know it. Of the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, a quarter – 7 million – has diabetes but is not aware. Another 79 million American adults have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have the disease. While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms, such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not show these overt warning signs at the time that they develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, or nerve damage that can lead to amputations.
There are many simple ways to find out if you have or at risk for diabetes. First and foremost, see your doctor or healthcare provider regularly. Second, the American Diabetes Association has a simple online Risk Test that can assess your risk factors. It only takes a few minutes to complete!
Yesterday, one of our certified diabetes educators was invited to join WLS-TV in Chicago for a segment on Diabetes Alert Day. I invite you to watch it to learn more and to get a diabetes-friendly dessert recipe from celebrity chef, Michael Digby!
Many say diabetes is the disease of our lifetime. Kovler Diabetes Center is here for you, your families and our communities to help you live your best life with diabetes. Please visit our new website for more resources and information.
Peggy Hasenauer, MS, RN
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center