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Diabetes affects about 30.3 million Americans or about 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, and yet nearly 1 in 4 adults living with diabetes, or 7.2 million Americans, are unaware that they have the disease.
On Tuesday, March 26, the American Diabetes Association will host its annual “Diabetes Alert Day ®.” Observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day “wake-up call” that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk.
As part of the observance, Americans are encouraged to take the Diabetes Risk Test, which can be found on the organization’s website. The test asks people to answer important questions about their weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Nine out of 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, feeling very thirsty or hungry, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal and unexplained weight loss. Constant cravings for sweets can also be connected to signs of prediabetes.
CareSouth Carolina Associate Medical Director Dr. Jeniqua Duncan, DO, MBA, said patients experiencing symptoms of diabetes should be checked sooner rather than later.
“Time is tissue,” Duncan said. “The longer you wait, the more damage that is being done. The sooner they can get evaluated and develop a plan of action, the better.”
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, though it often appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40. Although there are many similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the cause of each is very different, and the treatment is usually quite different, as well.
CareSouth Carolina offers an array of services in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, including on-site lab work, point-of-care test on Hemoglobin A1c that shows results within minutes, retinal eye exams, on-site behavioral health services, family support services and diabetic support groups.
“We take a comprehensive look at diabetes care,” Duncan said. “We want to offer as much access to care as possible for patients and families.”
Early detection of the disease can decrease the risk of developing complications. If you notice any possible diabetes symptoms, contact your doctor. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit caresouth-carolina.com.