by Miles Morley, MiCAFE Community Partner Liaison
The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Alert Day is today, March 22. The purpose of Alert Day is to help inform individuals about the risks of developing diabetes. The ADA facilitates this with their risk assessment. The ADA reports that one in four people who have diabetes are undiagnosed or unaware of their condition. The complications from diabetes, described below, are a reason why it can be a serious health issue to go undiagnosed.
Diabetes complications, such as death, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and/or loss of limbs, are some of the serious consequences that result from poor diabetes management. Medical costs for diabetics are 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. In the United States, the economic impact of diabetes is $245 billion per year. This includes $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in lost work and wages. These risks can be minimized by careful management of the amount of sugar in a patient’s blood. Eating healthy, being active, and working with health professionals are the most effective ways to balance blood sugar levels and reduce the chances for complications.
The ADA recommends taking the risk assessment for anyone who is overweight, has had gestational diabetes (diabetes symptoms while pregnant), has a family history of diabetes, or is over age 65. The ADA also recommends discussing ways to reduce your risk for developing diabetes with your physician.