This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
November is American Diabetes Month, and Carson City Health and Human Services wants to take a moment to remind everyone about the important public health impact diabetes has in our country, and also the health challenges faced by those with diabetes. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. An additional 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. People with Type 1 diabetes bodies’ don’t make insulin, a hormone needed to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy. Only about five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
Far more common is Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when your body doesn’t use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your body makes extra insulin to make up for it. Over time, however, your body isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. Some common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, feeling thirsty, feeling hungry — even though you’re eating, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, and cuts/bruises that are slow to heal. If you’re concerned you may have diabetes, see your healthcare provider.
Carson City Health and Human Services’ Clinic offers blood sugar testing as part of an annual wellness exam. For clients with health indicators that put them at higher risk for diabetes, or those with a family history of diabetes, a simple finger stick can be the first step to help determine if lifestyle changes or medication are needed. For those who are diabetic or prediabetic, or anyone who wants to learn more about diabetes, Carson Tahoe offers classes and support, including three free diabetes lectures on Thursday, Nov. 5, 12 and 19.
While diabetes can be a challenge, it’s not an insurmountable one. Through diet and exercise, and medication if necessary, those who live with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can lead full lives.
For more information on diabetes, or to find out if you might be at risk for the disease, visit www.diabetes.org. To learn about diabetes services offered by Carson Tahoe Hospital, check out their website at carsontahoe.com or call 445-5169. Stay up-to-date on everything going on at Carson City Health and Human Services by visiting www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or by “liking” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCHHS.