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Take Control of Your Diabetes – Prevention and Management


November is Diabetes Awareness Month. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes – about 1 in every 11 of us. Diabetics are generally classified as Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when a body does not make enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age and is not preventable.

A much more common form of diabetes, known as Type 2, occurs when a body cannot use insulin properly. Like Type 1, Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. However, unlike Type 1, Type 2 diabetes, in most cases, can be prevented or delayed with proper diet and exercise.

Who is at risk for diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following risk factors exist for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors are less well defined for type 1 diabetes than for type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in developing this type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35% to 60% chance of developing diabetes in the next 10–20 years.

Other specific types of diabetes, which may account for 1% to 5% of all diagnosed cases, result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses.

Why is managing diabetes so important?

Adults with diabetes have a 50% higher risk of death than those who do not have the disease. Diabetes can also carry with it a higher risk for related medical problems such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and loss of toes, feet or legs.

How can I manage my diabetes?

Whether you’re Type 1 or Type 2, the best way to manage your diabetes is to work with a qualified healthcare professional who can help you understand and control your medical condition and develop life habits designed to mitigate risk and maintain health over the long run. Diabetes specialists like Lassen Medical Clinic’s Shirley Powell, PA-C, routinely work with diabetic patients on taking the right medications, developing healthy eating habits and maintaining an active lifestyle.

The American Association of Diabetic Educators and other health organizations also offer a wealth of resources for diabetics and their loved ones, including information about the disease and strategies to manage it.

Websites

Take control of your diabetes is good for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: www.TCOYD.org

Children with diabetes is good for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: www.ChildrenwithDiabetes.org

A general website for diabetes is: www.Diabetes.org

For fitness and Type 2 diabetes: www.Fit2me.com

If you need help managing your diabetes or prediabetes, please contact Lassen Medical Clinic to make an appointment to be seen.