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American Diabetes Alert Day - March 28th

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on March 28th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

American Diabetes Alert Day is observed on the fourth Tuesday in March every year to raise awareness about diabetes and encourage people to take steps to prevent or manage the disease. American Diabetes Alert Day is a great opportunity to learn more about diabetes, its symptoms, and how to prevent it. Read on to educate yourself and learn how to inform others about this important health issue.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that changes the way your body processes glucose, or sugar. The lack of insulin production or utilization results in elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream. While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment.

Fast Facts About Diabetes

  • More than 37 million Americans have diabetes.
  • About 1 in 5 Americans with diabetes aren't aware they have the disease.
  • About 96 million Americans have prediabetes, a high blood glucose level but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
  • More than 8 in 10 adults with prediabetes aren’t aware they have it.
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 – 95% of known diabetes cases, while type 1 accounts for the remaining 5 – 10%.
  • Type 2 diabetes is preventable.
  • The yearly total for medical expenses and income loss resulting from diabetes is $327 billion.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death.
  • Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness.

What are the warning signs of diabetes?

Prediabetes doesn't come with any warning signs. However, as diabetes progresses, high blood sugar level causes some of the following symptoms:

  • frequent urination
  • frequent hunger and thirst
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • higher than normal susceptibility to infections

Why is it crucial to undergo a diabetes risk assessment?

Relying solely on warning signs may not accurately determine your condition, particularly if you have prediabetes and are asymptomatic. Timely detection of your status can enable you to take proactive steps to prevent prediabetes from progressing into diabetes and avoid complications such as heart disease and stroke.

How can I know my risk for diabetes?

There are various online assessments to determine your risk of diabetes and to whether you should be tested. Check your risk for type 2 diabetes using this quick diabetes risk test. You can also ask your healthcare provider to test you for prediabetes through a simple blood test or take the CDC's online survey.

How can I monitor my blood sugar level?

There are several ways to monitor your blood sugar level:

1. Glucose meters: These are small devices that measure blood sugar levels from a drop of blood obtained by pricking the finger with a lancet. The meter reads the blood sample and displays the result on a screen,  like the OneTouch® Ultra® 2, within seconds.

2. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM): A CGM device is worn on the body and provides continuous glucose readings throughout the day. It measures glucose levels through a sensor placed under the skin, and transmits the data to a receiver or smartphone app. One device called FreeStyle Libre has been shown to reduce diabetes-related hospitalizations. Another popular brand is the Dexcom G6.

3. Flash glucose monitoring: Like CGM, flash glucose monitoring uses a sensor to measure glucose levels, but the data is not continuously transmitted. Instead, the user scans the sensor with a device to get a reading.

4. Urine test strips: While less accurate than the above methods, urine test strips can be used to give an indication of blood sugar levels. The strip is dipped in a urine sample and changes color to indicate the level of glucose in the urine.

It's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine which monitoring method is best for you and how often you should be monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Is diabetes curable?

Currently, there is no known cure for diabetes. However, it can be managed and controlled through lifestyle modifications, medication, and insulin therapy. The goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range to prevent complications and improve quality of life. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, so people with type 1 diabetes will need insulin injections or an insulin pump for the rest of their lives. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin. Treatment for type 2 diabetes may include lifestyle modifications, oral medications, and/or insulin therapy. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

Among the various diabetes medications are metformin (Glucophage), sitagliptin (Januvia), and liraglutide (Victoza).

How can I observe American Diabetes Alert Day?

Here are four great ways you can get involved in American Diabetes Alert Day:

1. Get screened for diabetes: If you haven't been screened for diabetes recently, this is a great time to do so. Contact your healthcare provider to schedule a blood sugar test.

2. Share information on social media: Use social media platforms to share information about diabetes, its symptoms, and how to prevent it. Use hashtags like #AmericanDiabetesAlertDay or #DiabetesAwareness to spread the word.

3. Organize an event: Plan an event in your community to raise awareness about diabetes. This could be a walkathon, a health fair, or a diabetes education seminar.

4. Donate: Support organizations that work to prevent and manage diabetes by making a donation.

Is cost preventing you from getting the diabetes treatment you need?

With an RxLess discount card, you can save up to 88% on your medication at most pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. To search for your medication and learn how to use your RxLess card, visit

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