MARQUETTE - Are you one of the 292,000 Michigan residents who have diabetes and doesn't know it? Tuesday, March 27, is American Diabetes Alert Day, a nationwide public awareness campaign to identify those at risk for developing or already have diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can damage one's eyes, heart and kidneys. Early detection and education is crucial in preventing or reducing these serious health complications. 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
The Diabetes Risk Test is available by calling the UP Diabetes Outreach Network at (906) 228-9203 or going online to www.diabetesinmichigan.org and clicking on Diabetes Alert Day.
Warning signs of diabetes include:
- going to the bathroom a lot
- feeling hungry or thirsty all the time
- blurry vision
- losing weight without trying
- feeling tired all the time
- tingling/numbness in the hands or feet
- cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
What's alarming is that 80 percent show no warning signs of diabetes when they are diagnosed. Anyone who has any of the above risk factors or signs of diabetes should talk with their doctor or health care provider about being tested for diabetes. 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.
Diabetes support groups are available in the following locations:
Delta County - Diabetes Support Group meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Bay College Joseph Heirman University Center. For more information, contact Linda Klope, RD, CDE, 786-5707, ext. 5451 or email linda.klope@
Schoolcraft County - Pre-Diabetes Support Group and the Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Diabetic Support Group both meet at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital on the third Tuesday of the month. The Pre-Diabetes group meets from noon to p.m. and the Diabetic group meets from 1-2 p.m. Contact Anne Richey, RN, CDE (906) 341-3210.
The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Support Group for adult Native Americans meets at the Manistique Tribal Community Center from 10 a.m. to noon on the fourth Friday of each month. Contact Gail Sulander, (906) 341-9525.
Menominee County - Hannahville Indian Community Diabetic Support Group for Native Americans and their families meets at Hannahville Elders Building in Wilson at noon on the last Thursday of the month. Contact Erin Davis, MS, RD, 466-9208.