Type 2 diabetes affects an estimated 37.3 million children and adults in the United States (11.3% of the population). 28.7 million individuals are aware of the diagnosis of diabetes but 8.5 million individuals are undiagnosed. Approximately 96 million Americans have pre-diabetes (38% of the population) and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Being diagnosed with diabetes is manageable with some lifestyle modifications. Winneshiek Medical Center offers Diabetes Education services, including nutrition counseling, individualized outpatient educational sessions, and instruction on insulin administration and self-glucose monitoring. The Diabetes Education team consists of registered dietitians and registered nurses who work with your doctor to develop a personalized care plan to meet your health needs.
Diabetes is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy.
There are two types of diabetes with important differences. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5% to 10% of all known cases of diabetes, and Type 2 accounts for about 90 – 95%. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin to live; people with type 2 diabetes may or may not require insulin. Most people who develop type 1 diabetes do so when they are children or teenagers. People who develop type 2 diabetes normally do so after age 40.
Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, extreme hunger, excessive urination, unexplained weight loss, sudden vision change, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, feeling tired most of the time, very dry skin, sores that heal slowly and developing more infections than usual.
Diabetes treatment includes eating to control blood sugar, getting regular physical activity, taking diabetes medicines and/or insulin and monitoring blood sugar levels.
By keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range, people with diabetes lower their risk of long-term complications of diabetes, such as eye disease, kidney disease and nerve damage.
Before developing Type 2 diabetes, many individuals are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. This means the blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The good news is that pre-diabetes can be reversed. The dietitians at Winneshiek Medical Center can provide education on diet and activity changes to lower blood sugar readings.