American Diabetes Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday of March and this year, it falls on March 28. It is aimed at raising awareness about the risks and symptoms associated with diabetes among the American public. The holiday is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes occurs when the body’s blood glucose level is too high. This is caused by a deficiency in the insulin produced by the body, which is the hormone that lets glucose enter cells and be used as energy. Excess glucose in the blood can lead to several health problems. The most common types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes.
History of American Diabetes Alert Day
The first known mention of diabetes symptoms can be dated back to 1552 B.C. in Egypt, where physician Hesy-Ra listed frequent urination as a symptom of a disease that also caused both emaciation and the production of urine that attracted ants. In 150 A.D., Greek physician Arateus described the disease we now know to be diabetes to be “the melting down of flesh and limbs into urine.” The presence of ‘sweetness’ in the urine led to the disease being named ‘Diabetes Mellitus’ in 1675.
It was in the 18th and 19th centuries when physicians began to realize that dietary changes could help in the regulation of diabetes. Elliott Joslin published “The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus” in 1916, recommending a fasting diet and regular exercise for blood sugar control. Frederick Banting, a Canadian physician, was the first to think of using insulin to treat diabetes in 1920.
Today, insulin is used to treat type 1 diabetes. Other medical advancements have allowed patients to check their blood sugar levels at home and precisely regularize them using insulin, medication, exercise, and diet. Diabetes currently affects about 34.2 million Americans, out of which 7.2 million don’t even know that they suffer from the illness. To make matters worse, approximately 88 million people have prediabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that aren’t high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
The American Diabetes Alert Day was first observed in 1988 to intimate the American public about the disease and the risk of development.
American Diabetes Alert Day timeline
Egyptian physician Hesy-Ra describes frequent urination and emaciation as symptoms.
The term ‘Diabetes Mellitus’ is coined.
Canadian physician Frederick Banting proposes the use of insulin to treat diabetes.
The first American Diabetes Alert Day is organized by the American Diabetes Association.
American Diabetes Alert Day FAQs
Is prediabetes covered under A.D.A.?
Yes, it is.
Is diabetes covered by the Disability Act?
The 2010 Equality Act protects individuals with Type 1 diabetes from facing discrimination at work.
Is diabetes curable?
There is no known cure for diabetes. It can, however, go into remission.
How to Observe American Diabetes Alert Day
Take the American Diabetes Association risk test
Take the official Diabetes risk test on the official A.D.A. website. It'll help you understand any areas you need to focus on or any changes you may need to make in your lifestyle.
Donate to charitable organizations
If you can, donate a few dollars to organizations that work to improve the lives of individuals with diabetes. Your contribution will assist in the advancement of research, outreach, and information campaigns.
Encourage others to assess their level of risk
It’s not enough to just know where you stand, encourage the people around you to assess their risk levels as well. Help them avail the resources they might need to understand the topic further.
5 Important Facts About Diabetes That You Should Know
The seventh leading cause of death
In the United States, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness
Diabetes is a major cause of not just blindness, but also kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Majority of diabetes cases are type 2
Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases.
Type 1 is most common in young people
Type 1 diabetes tends to develop early in life.
Type 2 diabetes is preventable
Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise can drastically reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Why American Diabetes Alert Day is Important
It highlights the dangers of diabetes
People frequently fail to take diabetes seriously since it is so common. The American Diabetes Alert Day highlights the dangers associated with diabetes.
It aids in preventative action
One of the central aims of American Diabetes Alert Day is to aid preventative action. If people are aware of their risk level, it becomes easier to take steps to reduce it as much as possible.
It acts as a wake-up call
The awareness of one’s risk level allows the day to act as a wake-up call. The holiday does a good job of not allowing people to disregard diabetes casually
American Diabetes Alert Day dates