Tuesday, March 22, 2011 is the 23rd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up call” asking Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” by taking the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and if they are at high risk, to speak with their health care provider.
At the end of 2010, the American Diabetes Association surpassed their goal of inspiring one million Americans to join the American Diabetes Association’s movement to Stop Diabetes®. To continue this momentum, the Association is asking the public to “Join the Million Challenge” by rallying one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, beginning on Diabetes Alert Day on March 22, 2011 and ending April 22, 2011.
Diabetes is a devastating disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans and one quarter of those affected by diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.
In addition, approximately 79 million, or one in three American adults have prediabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Without intervention, individuals with prediabetes are at a much higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Seeking to change the future of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is using Diabetes Alert Day to help identify the undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have this serious disease. While some people with diabetes exhibit noticeable symptoms (such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst), most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not experience 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, which can lead to amputation.
“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating,” said Gina Perales Hethcock, Director of Communications and Hispanic Initiatives for the North Texas office. “The American Diabetes Association hopes that this American Diabetes Association Alert Day will encourage people to ‘Join the Million Challenge.’ By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
To help people determine their risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides the Diabetes Risk Test, which is a simple questionnaire about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. People at high risk are encouraged to speak with their health care providers.
You can “Join the Million Challenge” by getting your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) at http://www.stopdiabetes.com, 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or text JOIN to 69866 (Standard data and message rates apply). Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year round.
The American Diabetes Association is also encouraging the public to help spread the word about Diabetes Alert Day by sending out messages on Facebook and Twitter. You can download a Diabetes Alert Day application to post on your Facebook page or you can tweet about the importance of understanding one’s risk for type 2 diabetes and provide a link to the Diabetes Risk Test at stopdiabetes.com. The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.
East Penn Foot & Ankle Associates cares about its community. If we all help each other, together we can all live long and healthy lives. Visit East Penn Foot and Ankle’s Diabetic Foot And Ankle Center of the Lehigh Valley