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During National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is urging individuals to learn about the risk factors of diabetes as cases of pre-diabetes are on the rise. Approximately one in three U.S. adults has pre-diabetes and only 11 percent of those individuals are aware of their diagnosis. It’s estimated that 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type-2 diabetes within the next five years.
Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not so high to be considered diabetes. According to Jeanne Cahill, RD, CDE, manager of the Center for Diabetes Management at Mercy Gilbert, there are a number of reasons as to why more individuals are acquiring the chronic condition.
“Diabetes prevalence is increasing every year and we’re finding that it’s due to a number of reasons including genetic triggers, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle,” says Cahill. “Healthy lifestyle changes must be made to guard against developing diabetes. Studies show that people can delay and possibly prevent the disease by engaging in healthy lifestyle traits such as 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.”
To learn if an individual has pre-diabetes, Cahill recommends undergoing a fasting glucose test during their annual physical, and following up with an oral glucose tolerance test if fasting values are abnormal.
“There are no symptoms for pre-diabetes which is why it’s important for individuals to have their blood sugar levels tested,” says Cahill.
Mercy Gilbert provides educational classes for individuals interested in learning more about diabetes and pre-diabetes. The classes offered provide participants with the proper education and tools to help them effectively manage their pre-diabetes or diabetes. For more information or to register for the classes, the public should call 480.728.3535.