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Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes
Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way your body uses food for growth and energy. When we eat, many foods are broken down into glucose that passes into our bloodstream for our body to use. This process is dependent upon a hormone we make in our pancreas called insulin. In type 2 diabetes insufficient insulin is produced and the body has difficulty using the insulin that is present (insulin resistance). This results in higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood and can lead to many short and long-term complications.
Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and of these about seven million remain undiagnosed. New statistics show that 79 million can be classified as pre-diabetes. That means the person has blood glucose levels above normal but not to the level to diagnose diabetes. It’s not surprising that people with pre-diabetes are at higher risk to develop diabetes.
Multiple studies have shown that there are many things a person can do to control diabetes, lower complication risks and even delay or prevent its onset. Following a healthy food plan, regular physical activity and weight loss are all beneficial. There are also a variety of medications your physician may recommend to help control both diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Education is a key component of care and control. St Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers have certified diabetes educators to help patients learn about diabetes and prevention. Individual and group classes are available and the cost is often covered by insurance. There are also monthly diabetes interest groups that are free of charge.
For more information about diabetes management and the classes provided, at St. Joseph Medical Center, click here; at St. Mary's Medical Center click here; or call 816-943-2489 (St. Joseph) or 816-655-5244 (St. Mary’s).