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Monday, May 4, 2015

A hidden danger

Monday, March 24, 2003

Over 6 milliow people don't know they have diabetes

Almost every week is designated as a tribute to either some group, industry and even disease. It's almost easy to forget about the meaning of them.

But this Tuesday is one you might want to pay attention to, especially if you're one of the 6 million Americans who don't even know they have diabetes.

As healthcare professionals gear up to recognize Diabetes Alertness Day, it is estimated that one-third of the 17 million Americans who has the disease don't even know it.

That can be a scary thought, especially with the negative consequences of not treating the disease for an extended period of time.

"Primarily we want to make people be aware of the symptoms and not to ignore them. They should go to their doctor and get it checked out if they suspect they have a problem," said Bev Walters, RD, LD, director of nutrition services at BVRMC.

Walters is one member of the Diabetes Education Team at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center that combines nutrition and nursing specialties to help manage diabetics.

Other members of the education team are Patricia Ratcliffe, RD, LD, Nutrition Educator; Kay Jipp, RN, BSN, Diabetes Case Manager; and Carol Lenhart, RN/BSN/CDE, Diabetes Case Manager.

The most common form of diabetes is Type 2, your a person's body has problems either making enough insulin or correctly using the insulin it does make. Type 2 accounts for nine out of 10 cases of diabetes and can be treated with proper meal planning, exercise, oral medicines and/or insulin.

Those at risk include people over age 45, people with a family history of diabetes, certain ethnic groups including African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, and people who are overweight and/or inactive.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include fatigue, blurred vision, dry, itchy skin, increased hunger and thirst, increased urination, and tingling or loss of feeling in hands or feet.

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