Type 2 Diabetes: Know the Risks this Alert Day

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014, TRICARE beneficiaries can participate in Diabetes Alert Day, and learn if they are at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body does not properly process sugar (glucose) for use as energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects 25.8 million people (Type I and Type 2 diabetes) in the United States.  That is 8.3% of the population. Diabetes is often misunderstood, and many people are not aware that they are at risk for developing this disease. It is important for beneficiaries to know if they are at risk for developing diabetes, because it can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

The American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day is a one-day "wake-up call" asking Americans to take the diabetes risk test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The test consists of questions about the participant’s weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors. It only takes 60 seconds, and everyone who takes part will receive tips on prevention. Anyone with high risks for Type 2 diabetes should to talk to their health care provider as soon as possible. Beneficiaries can find the test and more information about diabetes alert day at www.diabetes.org.

Even though Alert Day is a one-day event, the diabetes risk test is available year-round. Although Type 2 diabetes does not have obvious warning signs, there are early signs of trouble,  including but not limited to: frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision, extreme hunger and unexplained weight loss.  People at risk for Type 2 diabetes often have increased blood glucose levels, not high enough to classify them as diabetic but high enough to indicate that they might be having trouble properly processing sugar (glucose). TRICARE beneficiaries should talk to their primary care manager about getting tested to see if they have prediabetes symptoms.

TRICARE covers screenings for Type 2 diabetes, as well as diabetic supplies, equipment, medications and additional diabetic services if ordered by a physician. A doctor or primary care manager can conduct screenings, answer any questions, explain what a diagnosis means and provide details about treatment. To learn more about TRICARE’s diabetic coverage, visit: www.tricare.mil/coveredservices.

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