An estimated 5 million Americans have diabetes and do not know it.

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and the Orem Community Hospital are celebrating National Diabetes Month in November by helping people become more aware of the disease and its treatment.Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not metabolize food appropriately. It is indicated by high sugar levels in the blood.

When diagnosed early, diabetes can be controlled through diet, exercise and sometimes the use of insulin or oral medication. Early detection can help prevent or delay serious diabetic complications such as blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, foot and leg amputations and stroke.

Symptoms of type I diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, sudden weight loss, weakness and fatigue, irritability, nausea and vomiting.

Type II diabetes can display other symptoms as well, including blurred vision, tingling or numbness in the legs, feet or fingers, slow healing of cuts (especially on the feet), frequent skin irritations or drowsiness.

A finger-tip blood test can screen for diabetes but it is not a diagnostic test. For more information on diabetes testing call 379-7176.