Diabetes Alert Day: Learn Your Risk


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March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association.  This one day “wake up call” encourages the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to determine if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.th

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.  Millions of Americans have been diagnosed and many more are unaware they are at risk.  In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.  Insulin is necessary for the body to use glucose for energy.

The Diabetes Risk Test assesses weight, age, family history and other factors to determine an individual’s risk level.  So what can you do to prevent the onset of diabetes?  Small changes.  The National Diabetes Education Program encourages people to take one small step toward better health by first setting a goal for yourself.   Lose weight, get active, make more informed choices in nutrition and stick to your goals.  Each small achievement can put you one step further from diabetes risk.

What other impacts can diabetes have?  For one thing, it can impact your heart.  Take a look at this infographic on the relationship between diabetes and heart health.

Infographic: Diabetes and Your Heart

So how does this all play into 9-1-1?  Individuals who suffer from any form of diabetes run the risk of falling into a diabetic shock, caused when their blood sugar levels are too low.  This can cause the individual to suffer from nausea, dizziness, confusion, rapid pulse, headache, weakness and even seizure.  If an individual can dial 9-1-1 they are not always able to accurately describe their condition, the nature of their emergency or even where they are.  They can be perceived as non-sensible or at times mistaken for intoxication.  In these situations it is very important for call takers to not only understand what is causing this reaction, but also where the victim is located to send accurate help immediately.  The details provide in a Safety Profile can give both 9-1-1 and responders the valuable information they need to provide the best possible response.

 

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