FORT ATKINSON – Diabetes does not discriminate. It can affect persons of any age, race, or socio-economic status and nearly everyone knows someone who is living with diabetes. To help spread the word regarding treatment and the search for a cure, World Diabetes Day is held each November, which is also American Diabetes Month.

Fort HealthCare is hosting a free indoor Diabetes Walk on Wednesday, November 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Fort Memorial Hospital, 611 Sherman Avenue East in Fort Atkinson. Walkers should use the main entrance on Armenia Street, where the revolving doors are located, and take the elevators or stairs to the Mezzanine level balcony to register and sign-up for the prize drawing.

Activities include free health screenings (blood pressure and glucose), interactive displays, helpful take-home information, and healthy snacks. People with diabetes, family members and those seeking to understand their health are all encouraged to participate.

Fort HealthCare diabetes educator, Rhonda Perdelwitz, RN urges, “Now is the time to take control of your diabetes. Ask your doctor for diabetes self-management education.” She continues, “Annual follow-up with a dietician and nurse educator is a Medicare benefit most people don’t know about.”

Medical literature cites three specific forms of the disease: type 1, type 2 and gestational
diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed in childhood. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin so daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown, but genetics, viruses and autoimmune problems may play a role.

The warning signs of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, tiredness, vomiting and stomach pain, blurred vision, frequent infections, slow-healing wounds, lack of concentration and a tingling sensation in the hands or feet.

Not all these signs are present in everyone and having some of the signs does not constitute a diagnosis of diabetes. If you are concerned about having diabetes or are experiencing any of the warning signs, contact your healthcare provider.

If you already have diabetes, controlling it is crucial. Since most diabetics are responsible for their own care it is important to know how to self-manage the disease. The best approach to care is multidisciplinary. The care team usually includes a primary physician, diabetic educator, dietician, ophthalmologist, podiatrist and possibly an endocrinologist. Fort HealthCare offers a diabetic education program to guide patients in developing a self-management care program.

To learn more about diabetes and the programs available at Fort HealthCare, visit