According to the latest report by the American Diabetes Association reports, nearly 17,800 people in Cambria and Somerset counties have diabetes. Still nearly 43,000 are suffering from pre-diabetes. Nearly one in five has a significant chance of becoming diabetic.
It is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar and other foods into energy. In Type 1, formerly called juvenile diabetes, the body produces no insulin.Type 1 patients must receive insulin injections.
There is no clear cause of Type 2 diabetes, but family history, excess weight and lack of exercise top the list of risk factors.Patients usually can control their disease with diet and oral medications to control sugar levels in the blood.
The epidemic of obesity is directly linked to soaring diabetes levels, prompting health-care leaders to focus on education, prevention and control. But it’s an uphill battle in an area where residents’ diets have remained the same since days of hard work in steel mills, coal mines and strenuous housework, said U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown.
A 10-hour course on disease management and nutrition helps newly diagnosed diabetes patients take control of their disease. The course covers diet and exercise, medicine, complications, label reading and other information.
Similar courses are offered at Windber Medical Center and Somerset Hospital, where diabetes educator Jackie Werder and dietitian Leann John highlight the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ seven self-care behaviors. They are: Healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks and healthy coping.Diabetes patients should monitor blood sugar levels and count calories and fat grams every day.
Test of hemoglobin A1c every three months to help physicians see how the disease is being managed.Important information includes instruction on how to inspect feet for sores or blisters from reduced circulation, Harding said. Sores in the mouth and other areas should also be checked by professionals.12-week Lifestyle Choices course in prevention that stresses weight loss, healthy eating and exercise. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of walking or other exercise a day.
Source: The Tribune Democrat
Filed under Diabetes, Diabetes awareenss, IDDM, Insulin, NIDDM, Obesity | Tags: American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Diabetes Association, excess weight, family history, hemoglobin A1c, insulin injections., Juvenile Diabetes, lack of exercise, Obesity, pre-diabetes, Somerset Hospital, Type 1, type 2 diabetes, Windber Medical Center | Comment Below