2012-03-22 / Lifestyles

Annual SMH Diabetes Alert Day walk to be held Tuesday

Tuesday, March 27, marks the annual observance of National Diabetes Alert Day, and officials at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital are once again asking the public to help them raise awareness about diabetes prevention and treatment.

Anne Richey, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at SMH, is organizing the third annual Diabetes Alert Day Walk, which will take place at 4 p.m. on March 27, beginning behind the hospital, near the SMH Fitness Center.

While the walk will be a short one, Richey hopes it will draw a large contingent, including young children, teens and adults.

Everyone is encouraged to take part, including diabetes patients, their friends and family, those with pre-diabetes, and anyone interested in a healthier community.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can damage one’s eyes, heart and kidneys. Early detection and education is crucial in preventing or reducing these serious health risks.

You are at risk if you answer yes to one or more of the following:

• Age 45 or older

• Overweight

• Get little or no exercise

• Have a family history of diabetes

• Have high blood pressure

• Are of certain ethnic decent (African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian American and Native American)

• A woman who had diabetes when pregnant or had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth

The Diabetes Risk test is available by calling the U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network at (906) 228- 9203 or going to the SMH website at www.scmh.org and clicking on the Diabetes Alert Day screen.

Warning signs of diabetes include:

• Frequent urination

• Feeling hungry or thirsty all the time

• Blurry vision

• Weight loss without trying

• Feeling tired and fatigued

• Tingling/numbness in the hands or feet

• Slow healing cuts or bruises

Alarmingly 80 percent show no warning signs when they are diagnosed. Anyone with risk factors or signs of diabetes should talk with their doctor or health care provider about being tested. One or two simple blood tests can normally detect diabetes. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes; however, early detection can prevent or delay diabetes related complications.

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