Diabetes care kit

37.3 million Americans—or about 11.3% of the U.S. population—have diabetes.1 Diabetes Alert Day, observed on the fourth Tuesday of March each year, this year being March 26,  serves as a wake-up call to raise awareness about the risks of diabetes.

In 2024, as we mark another Diabetes Alert Day, it’s crucial to shed light on the impact of diabetes, educate yourself about prevention, and learn the importance of early detection. With social media and constant information flowing, it is easy to get ‘alert fatigue’. There are frequent warnings about a variety of topics, but preventing diabetes is definitely worth the effort. Diabetes can have lifelong effects on eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and is linked to some types of cancer.

You can prevent diabetes. Read that again. Diabetes is preventable. Living a lifestyle of healthy diet, regular physical activity and weight management can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Maintain regular health checkups and learn the signs and symptoms of diabetes. Seek medical attention if any warning signs are noticed.

Having a family history of diabetes is a risk factor of developing the disease. Early detection is critical in managing diabetes effectively, particularly for prevention. This Diabetes Risk Test can be used to learn about your own risk of developing diabetes.

“Take the Diabetes Risk Test”, states Lisa Thorp, RN, CDCES.  “It is fast and easy. If you know that you are at risk to develop diabetes, there is a lot of help to prevent the disease.” ThorpLisa Thorp goes on to say that there are many Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP) available online and throughout the state. For ND residents, accessing the NDC3 website allows a person to search for a DPP program.  Many of these programs are supported by NDSU Extension and are free of charge.  Hospitals also offer a variety of resources including dietician services, diabetes support groups and lifestyle programs.

For those that already have been diagnosed with diabetes, attending a Diabetes Self-Management Education program, is recommended. Another program called Better Choices Better Health has sessions available in both ND and SD.


  1. National Diabetes Statistics Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated June 29, 2022. Accessed February 23, 2023.

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Diabetes – The Path to Understanding Starts Here: Although there is no cure, diabetes can be managed with changes in lifestyle (diet and exercise) and treatment. Self-management of diabetes is critical to overall health and longevity. Education and support is available. As we recognize Diabetes Awareness Month, take a few minutes to listen and learn more.

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