According to the CDC, almost 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, with millions more undiagnosed. Another 88 million have prediabetes, and of these more than 84% do not know they have it.

Prediabetes is a health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC. Prediabetes puts a person at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Prediabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have risk factors for prediabetes:

- Being overweight

- Being 45 years old or older

- Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes

- Are physically active less than three times a week

- Ever having diabetes during pregnancy or having a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

- Having polycystic ovary syndrome

Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African American, Hispanic/ Latino American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and some Asian Americans are at greater risk.

If you have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight if you are overweight and getting regular physical activity can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, is promoted on and around the fourth Tuesday every March. This year, it is on March 23. It is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Because this condition is increasing by large numbers yearly, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and local Lions and Lioness Clubs are promoting Diabetes Alert Day throughout Wisconsin. The Cottage Grove Lions Club is participating in this event.

The Cottage Grove Lions will be sponsoring an informational booth at the Piggly Wiggly in Cottage Grove on Tuesday, March 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. Information about your risk of developing diabetes, prediabetes, and preventing diabetes will be available. You can also take the diabetes risk test at www.diabetes.org/risk-test. If you find out you are at risk, discuss diabetes prevention with your health care provider.

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