There are 7 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes and don't know it and nearly 80 million who are in danger of developing diabetes. The tragic and untimely death of former Baltimore Ravens player Orlando Brown can be viewed as a warning to the millions of Americans to ask their health care provider to test and monitor closely for diabetes. This is particularly important if you have one or more of the risk factors: family history, high blood pressure, age (over 45), being overweight and/or leading an inactive lifestyle, and ethnic predisposition (Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Native American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Alaska native).
If diabetes is diagnosed, diabetes educators can help patients successfully manage their disease and ward off many of the more dangerous complications that often arise from the disease. For more information, visit http://www.diabetesselfcare.org
Lana Vukovljak, Chicago
The writer is CEO of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.