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National Diabetes Alert Day

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March 25, 2003

Albany - 16 millions Americans have diabetes - five million of them don't even know it. For those people, National Diabetes Alert Day can be a livesaver.

Dozens of people took advantage of free diabetes screening at Phoebe Putney Hospital on Tuesday. The disease often goes undetected because the symptoms are overlooked. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirsty, unusual weight loss, blurry vision, and extreme fatigue or hunger.

A simple finger prick can tell you if you have diabetes. "My brother has diabetes," said Glenda French." "I just wanted to make sure I don't have the disease or take steps to care for myself if I do have diabetes."

Diabetes can lead to blindness, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. Early detection is critical in preventing these more serious health problems. Diabetes is the fourth leasing cause of death by disease in the United States.