Saint Vincent Hospital Brings Awareness to the Importance of Diabetes Screening

Jan 5, 2024

Diabetes affects millions but many don’t know they are at risk

Chances are you know someone who has diabetes, a metabolic disorder affecting more than 37 million Americans, including those who have the disease but have not been diagnosed. That is why Saint Vincent Hospital is encouraging community members to know their numbers and be screened.

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs when excess glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood. It can cause numerous health problems if not properly managed. Some symptoms of diabetes may seem so insignificant that you may not even notice them for months or years – but being tested and diagnosed early is key to a lifetime of better health. The annual expenditure for diabetes in the U.S. is $326 billion.

Adults with no risk factors should be screened starting at age 40 and repeated every 3 years. With other risk factors such as first-degree relative with diabetes, overweight or obesity, high blood pressure, a history of heart disease, testing should happen at an earlier age and more often.

“Type 2 diabetes, which typically is diagnosed in adults and accounts for between 90-95% of all diagnosed cases, can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, eye disease and kidney disease,” explains Nitin Trivedi, MD, Endocrinologist at Saint Vincent Hospital. “In the last 20 years, the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has become more overweight or obese.”

Dr. Trivedi points out that diabetes is the number 1 cause of blindness, foot amputation, and kidney disease often resulting in dialysis. In addition, the rate of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children—a disease typically seen in adults—continues to rise and is estimated to occur in one in three of new diagnoses of diabetes in children.

“The increase in diabetes in adults worldwide has quadrupled over the last few decades. The connection with heart and blood vessel damage is undeniable,” says Dr. Trivedi. While there isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, the CDC says that losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help preventing the development of diabetes. Even a modest amount of weight loss (7% of the body weight), by diet and increased physical activity, can substantially reduce the development of diabetes, especially in high-risk individuals.

Symptoms of diabetes will vary to some extent depending on the type. Classic symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst and increased urination. This occurs because your kidneys have to work overtime to filter and absorb surplus sugar that has built up in the blood. 

Other common symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, unexplained weight loss and blurred vision. Fatigue may be caused by increased urination resulting in dehydration and the body’s inability to properly use sugar for energy. 

Dr. Trivedi advises talking with your doctor if have questions or suspect any symptoms. For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association at For a physician referral, call (866) 494-3627 or visit

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