Alton Memorial Hospital will provide free diabetes risk tests and on-demand glucose tests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in the hospital cafeteria.

            March 26 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. This national event is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the risk test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

            The risk test and glucose tests are available for all ages. Representatives from Alton Memorial’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Program and Wound Care Center will be present to answer questions individuals may have regarding diabetes nutritional education, diabetes support groups and wound/skin care tips for diabetic patients.

            The risk test, which takes approximately one minute to complete, asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk to their health care provider.

            According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States. Seven million do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.

            “Problem wounds are often associated with diabetes and can lead to major complications and amputations if not treated properly,” said Dave Gislason, program director of Alton Memorial Hospital’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.  “As a long-time department of Alton Memorial Hospital, the Wound Care Center is proud to help raise awareness for this serious disease, which often can be prevented or managed with simple lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity.” 

            Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.  People who are overweight, under-active and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease are also at an increased risk.

            While Alert Day is held annually and serves as a one-day wake-up call to the millions of people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the risk test is also available at or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). 

            For more information about diabetes support or diabetic wound care at Alton Memorial Hospital, call the diabetes education office at 618-463-7526 or the Wound Care Center at 618-433-7066.   



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