March 27, 2012

Diabetes Alert Day: For Whom, For What?

Yes, it’s Diabetes Alert Day, but who are all these red flags aimed at and to do what?

Around the world the who to alert on Diabetes Alert Day is hundreds of millions of people. The International Diabetes Federation offers tons of global facts and stats. Suffice to say there’s a type 2 diabetes tsunami already well on it’s way!

In the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  (CDC) National Diabetes Fact Sheet tells us exactly who Diabetes Alert Day is targeted to:

7 million of the 26 million people with diabetes WHO do not yet know they have diabetes. If any of these 7 million people were tested today, they could be diagnosed with diabetes. For most of these people, it’s type 2 diabetes. (26 million people with diabetes represents over 8% of our population.)

70+ million people WHO could be diagnosed with prediabetes today. (Yes, you read this number correctly. Of the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes (that’s 35% of American adults), only 8% (and that’s being generous) know they have prediabetes and research shows not even half of these individuals (or their healthcare providers) are taking preventive efforts to slow it’s progression (Learn more in my blog Prediabetes, But Nearly No One Knows It.)

Today on Diabetes Alert Day, it’s obvious from these stats that millions of people need to take the risk test made available by American Diabetes Association and CDC (see Take the Quiz on right). If you believe you, a family member or loved one is at risk of either prediabetes or diabetes, kindly encourage them to take the test. It’s quick and easy! If the results reveal risk, the next step should be to get a firm diagnosis (either with an A1C blood test or measures of blood glucose levels), and most importantly start to take care of this condition NOW.

If there is one thing we have learned about prediabetes and care for type 2 diabetes in the last couple of decades, it’s GET AGGRESSIVE WITH YOUR EFFORTS EARLY. FIND and WORK with healthcare providers who realize the importance of this EARLY and AGGRESSIVE care. Make sure your HCPs KNOW how to treat prediabetes and type 2 diabetes today. The treatment and management options are more plentiful than they’ve ever been. You can get the biggest bang for your efforts with healthy eating, being physically active and losing a few pounds (5-10% of your body weight) NOW.

To offer up a bit more knowledge and guidance on this 2012 Diabetes Alert Day, I’ve provided links to a few of my blogs on prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and research findings which give the strong message about EARLY, AGGRESSIVE management:  
Insulin Resistance Explained

Prevent/Delay Diabetes? With a Bit of Weight Loss, Concludes 10 Year NIH Study

Prediabetes, But Nearly No One Knows

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2, Weight Loss and Control - Stop Dreaming Act NOW

Look at What the Look AHEAD Study Reveals

Type 2 Diabetes: From Old Dogmas to New Realities

Need Support? Check out Diabetes Advocates, a collective of individuals and organizations that offer expertise, resources, and support to those touched by diabetes. They believe that connecting with others living with and caring for diabetes, and providing emotional and anecdotal support, goes hand-in-hand with the support of a healthcare provider.