National Diabetes Alert Day stresses importance of understanding your risk

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – National Diabetes Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March by the American Diabetes Association.

One can develop Type 2 diabetes through lack of exercise, obesity, the medication they are on, and even if they have a predisposition to the disease. Knowing if you are at risk for diabetes or prediabetes is incredibly important.

“Many of our patients might have symptoms and they might not be aware that they are at risk or they have diabetes. So some of the signs to look for are including polyuria and polydipsia what that means is they might be thirsty all the time and they drink a lot of water and they urinate a lot,” said Inga Harbuz-Miller, Endocrinologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at URMC.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about one in five Americans are unaware they have diabetes.

If you’re predisposed to Type 2 diabetes, it is important to know before it is too late. Untreated diabetes can cause heart attacks or stokes in the patient, so it is important to go to your doctor.

You will never go a day where you would forget about living with the disease.

“Living with diabetes is impacted by everything we do from how much sleep we get to what we eat and how active we are with exercise or how sedentary we are,” Harbuz-Miller said.

National Diabetes Alert Day is recognized because of the seriousness of the disease and the importance of understanding your risk. So, if you or someone you love think they may have it, or are on the track to, take time to visit your doctor and have that conversation.