National Diabetes Alert Day – Learn and Lead!

Did you know that people with a mental illness are dying on average 25 years earlier than people without a mental illness? (You can read more about this in the Report on Morbidity (Illness) and Mortality (Death) in People with Serious Mental Illness at the bottom of the Northern Lakes CMH Links page under Important Reports.)

This is a very concerning fact but one that can be changed!

Diabetes is one of the main contributing factors to people’s shortened lives. On this day, the National Diabetes Alert Day, you can help by learning a bit about diabetes and how to prevent and control it:

  • Check the American Diabetes Association web site, which has a wealth of information.
  • Enter the Northern Lakes Health Education Answers interactive site and check out all the information on diabetes.
  • If you have diabetes, consider joining a MI-PATH (Personal Actions Toward Health) class. These meet weekly for six weeks. You can learn about upcoming courses by calling Mary Beth Evans, Recovery Coordinator, at 989-366-2950. You can also find out about upcoming PATH courses through TIPDON, Northern Michigan Diabetes Outreach Network.

More than 620,000 Michigan adults have diabetes and thousands more are at risk. In fact, one in three Americans born in 2000 will develop the disease within their lifetime. That number increases to two in five for African Americans and Hispanics. Many people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease which is why it is important to get tested early. Some complications from late diagnosis include heart disease, blindness, chronic kidney disease and stroke. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Michigan.
Some symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling more thirsty than usual
  • Feeling more hungry than normal
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision

If you experience any of these symptoms, are overweight, inactive, or over the age of 45, then you should speak with your doctor about diabetes as soon as possible. African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Asians also have a higher risk for diabetes.

Some ways to prevent type 2 diabetes include eating smaller, healthier meals, exercising more, and setting weight-loss goals.

For more information, call TIPDON, Northern Michigan’s Diabetes Outreach Network, at (800) 847-3665.