American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®, observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day wake-up call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes and ask that they take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable, unlike type 1 diabetes, which is less predictable and based on factors beyond one's control like genetics.
According to research by the Center for Disease Control, 1 out of every 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes but only 1 out of 14 knows that they have it. Prediabetes is a higher than normal blood glucose level that is not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you notice the symptoms of high blood sugar levels such as blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, hunger, frequent infections, excess urination or weight loss, you should consult your doctor to determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes. People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot move sugar into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy. This may be due to the inability of the pancreas to make enough insulin (hormone needed to control blood sugar) or due to cells that do not respond normally to insulin. (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
Three years ago, a friend of mine, Chris, was having reccurring infections, fatigue and excessive thirst. The fatigue was particularly unsettling to her because she is a personal trainer and she went to the doctor to get a check up. Chris is in her forties and follows a healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, physical activity and proper weight so the doctors were surprised when the blood work showed high glucose levels. The doctors prescribed medication for prediabetes but when her blood sugar levels remained high, they realized that she had diabetes (most likely a late onset of type 1) and now has to be treated with insulin to control her blood sugar levels. Chris' experience is uncommon because she does not have the typical risk factors for type 2 diabetes but she does demonstrate the importance of checking with your doctor when you have physical symptoms that disrupt your daily life.
You are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, according to the ADA, if you are:
- Have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Age 45 or older
- Developed diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes)
- Are not physically active
- Belong to certain racial or ethnic groups. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific
Click here to take the Diabetes Risk Test .
See a doctor if you have concerns about your health and start living a healthier lifestyle. Synergy HomeCare can help you get to a doctor appointment, an exercise class or help you shop for and prepare healthy meals. Synergy HomeCare provides a wide range of non-medical care, including companionship, transportation, housekeeping, and personal care services in North Orange County including Foothill Ranch, Brea, Anaheim and neighboring cities.