Florida Department Of Health Recognizes American Diabetes Alert Day

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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes Tuesday, March 27, 2007 as American Diabetes Alert Day. The day is set aside to inform individuals that diabetes is a serious disease, type 2 diabetes is preventable, and 300,000 to 400,000 adults in Florida have diabetes, but do not know it.

"We encourage all Floridians to remain alert in terms of their health and learn to recognize risk factors and symptoms of diabetes," Ana M.Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H. DOH Secretary said.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin and type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not properly use insulin or produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Diabetes is most prevalent among Floridians 65 years of age and older and among African Americans. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is less common but is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents that are American Indian, African American and Hispanic.

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DOH, along with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), recommend Floridians remain alert regarding the symptoms and risk factors for diabetes and what can be done to prevent the disease.

Symptoms of diabetes include:
Being very thirsty
Frequent urination
Weight loss

Risk Factors for diabetes include:
Family history of diabetes
Having diabetes during pregnancy or having a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth
High blood pressure (at or above 130/80)

To help prevent type 2 diabetes:
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat low-fat meals that are high in fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods
Be physically active most days of the week

DOH promotes and protects the safety of all people in Florida through a delivery of quality health care services and the promotion of health care standards. For more information about diabetes, please visit the DOH Web site at www.doh.state.fl.us and select "Diabetes Prevention and Control Program" from the drop down box.

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