Tuesday, March 23, has an added significance this year. It is American Diabetes Alert Day, a nationwide public awareness campaign to identify those at risk for developing, or those who already have diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious health risk which is, unfortunately, afflicts more and more people each year.
It often goes undetected. Officials say 80 percent of patients show no warning signs of diabetes when they are diagnosed. One or two simple blood tests can detect diabetes. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes; however, early detection can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications.
Residents will have a chance to fight diabetes through a fund-raiser by the Mid Peninsula School Student Council. They are raising money for the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network Tuesday.
A community-wide school walk will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in advocacy of Diabetes Alert Day. The fund-raiser involves a donation of $5 per person, ages 6 and up, to participate with the chance to win prizes. Proceeds will go towards UPDON's mission to help improve the health and lifestyle of those affected by the disease. Every dollar raised will go toward strengthening diabetes prevention, detection, and treatment across the U.P.
Take part in this worthwhile cause Tuesday. While you're at it, take the time to educate yourself about the warning signs and risks of diabetes.
You are at risk for diabetes if you answer yes to one or more of the following:
I am age 45 and older
I am overweight
I get little or no exercise
I have a family history of diabetes
I have high blood pressure (130/80 or higher)
I am of certain ethnic decent (African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian
American and Native American)
I am a woman who had diabetes when pregnant or had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth
Warning signs of diabetes include:
going to the bathroom a lot
feeling hungry or thirsty all the time
losing weight without trying
feeling tired all the time
tingling/numbness in the hands or feet
cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
For more information, contact your local hospital or the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network at (906) 228-9203 or online at www.diabetesinmichigan.org.