Today marks the 22nd annual National Diabetes Alert Day. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that people take an online test to determine how at risk they are for Type 2 diabetes. The ADA estimates that 57 million Americans are at risk for Type 2, a preventable and controllable form of diabetes. Another five million may have the disease and not know it. The short test asks questions about age, weight, activities, and family history of diabetes.
The levels of obesity in the U.S. climb every year. Children are the most at-risk as physical activity takes a back seat to TV and computer games. Certain ethnic groups are also at a higher risk for this type of diabetes, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and people over age 60. The ADA offers five “secrets” to help stop diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is most often associated with lifestyle choices. The Stop Diabetes campaign encourages everyone to pause today to take the risk test online, to donate to ADA for more education and research on the disease, to share a personal story, or to create a online video. Learn more about the campaign that runs through the end of March.
Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in childhood, although a couple of years ago the former Broncos quarterback, Jay Cutler, was diagnosed as an adult. Only five to ten percent of people with diabetes have this form which blocks the production of insulin in the body. Early diagnosis often prevents serious complications. Insulin therapy generally allows those with Type 1 to live long and healthy lives.
Symptoms include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue and irritability, and unexplained weight loss. Type 2 symptoms include these plus blurred vision, cuts that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, and recurring skin, gum or bladder infections. When any or all of these symptoms are present for any period of time, a visit with the physician is warranted.
In Denver, Children’s Diabetes Foundation supports research and educational programs as well as the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Hospital. The main focus of research here is on Type 1 diabetes.
The Rose Diabetes Center offers education and treatments for Types 1 and 2, gestational diabetes, and diabetes insipidus.
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