BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
The fourth Tuesday of March has been declared as American Diabetes Association Alert Day to alert yourself and others of the risks and signs of the growing epidemic that many people may not know they have.
Alert day is a one-day wake-up call asking the public to take the diabetes risk test to find out if they are at risk for developing diabetes which effects over 25 million children and adults in the United States.
The test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors.
The director of the Wellness Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital explains that there are many symptoms that come with the beginning stages type 2 diabetes that are common to a cold or the flu.
"Often times people don't even have signs or symptoms but if they did it would be fatigue, blurry vision, wounds that don't heal very quickly, might see extra thirst or urination."
For children who are diagnosed it is critical to look for the signs and catch it early to avoid life threatening complications.
Brooke Graham is a mother of an 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed four years ago and says she caught her daughters type 1 diabetes just in time.
"We were actually lucky because she didn't go into DKA which is when your organs shut down a lot of children do that and they have to get flown to Madera or down south to the children's hospital but we were able to stay here in Bakersfield."
As a mother Brooke says her greatest advice is to become aware of the sings and after being diagnosed it is important to educate yourself and your family and to check your blood sugar as often as needed.
"We try to tell our story as much as we can thinking that when somebody has a child that isn't acting right and your think it’s the flu or something is not right it’s in the back of their mind that maybe they should check their blood sugar."
Although alert day is only one day the risk test is available all year. But starting today and ending April 9th Boars Head will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association for every test taken up to 50 thousand dollars.
If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms or feel you may be at risk take the test at http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/