Diabetes Alert Day

Written by Ashley Grazilla, RD.LD.. Posted in Blog.

Did You Know?

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period.  Diabetes is due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced (insulin resistance).  There are different types of diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.  Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.  They make no insulin at all and are always on insulin shots or an insulin pump.  Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for everyday life.  In Type II Diabetes, the body still makes insulin, but does not use it properly.  This is called insulin resistance.  At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to cover, but over time it isn’t able to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels. Another type of diabetes is Gestational Diabetes.  It occurs during pregnancy when pregnancy hormones cause insulin resistance.  Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugars are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a normal fasting blood glucose is less than 100mg/dl.  Prediabetes is 101-125mg/dl and diabetes is 126mg/dl and higher.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

  • Extreme thirst

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Frequent urination

  • Blurry vision

  • Feeling very hungry

  • Slow healing

  • Weight loss

  • Tingling/pain/numbness in hands/feet

In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.  Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed and 8.1 million were undiagnosed.  Additionally, in 2012, there were 86 million Americans age 20 and older who had prediabetes.  The numbers continue to rise.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of the death in the United States.  However, diabetes is controllable and can be managed successfully.  Eating healthy (following a consistent carbohydrate meal plan), exercising, not using tobacco and taking medications/insulin can all help in managing diabetes.  Foot, eye, and dental care as well as controlling blood pressure are also very important in the self-management of diabetes.  Diabetes does not have to control you! You can control diabetes! That is the good news to share!  If you have diabetes, seek education.  The knowledge you gain will give you the power to help control it!

Go to the following link to learn more about American Diabetes Association Alert Day® and to take the diabetes risk test to find out if you’re at risk. 


Submitted By:  Ashley H. Grazilla, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian/Diabetes Education Coordinator Highland District Hospital Hillsboro, Ohio

Sources: American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) and Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)