Diabetes Awareness

November is National Diabetes Month. A theme for this year is “Take charge of tomorrow: preventing diabetes health problems”.

Diabetes is a long lasting disease. It affects how your body turns food into energy. When you have diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it the way it should. Insulin is what lets the blood sugar into the bloodstream. If the insulin levels aren’t right, the wrong amount of blood sugar can be in the bloodstream. This can cause issues such as heart disease, vision loss, or kidney disease.

There are 3 types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes: This is caused by the body having a response that stops it from making insulin. Symptoms often change very fast. These people need to take insulin each day. At this point, there is no known way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes: This is where the body can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels because it doesn’t use insulin well. Still, it can be prevented or delayed. This can be done with healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active. Most people who have diabetes have Type 2. To find out if you have Type 2 Diabetes, get your blood sugar tested.

Gestational Diabetes: This type is found only in pregnant women. It happens in those who have never had diabetes. There are concerns about the baby being at a higher risk for health issues. Most often, the diabetes goes away after the baby is born. The women is then at a higher risk for type 2.

Four Corners has a few programs offered for diabetes:

Diabetes Prevention Program: This is a one-year program in a group setting for people who are prediabetic. Participants qualify with high risk results from a lab test or prediabetes risk test. This program teaches skills and gives tools needed to make a lifestyle change. Group members learn ways to eat healthy and have moderate physical activity. Stress, sleep, support systems, and how to beat barriers are also discussed. A goal for participants is to reach a 5%-7% weight loss and increase physical activity to 150 minutes a week. An online version of the program is also an option. With this version, people can go through each lesson at their own pace.

Living Well with Diabetes: This is a workshop for people with diabetes or their caregivers. It is an evidence-based self-management class. It shares tools, skills, and support for group members to make lasting lifestyle changes. Disease self-management teaches people ways to identify challenges and solve problems tied to their illness(es). It is 6 sessions long with the class meeting once a week for about 2 hours.  A class is currently being scheduled for the spring.

If you are interested in either of these programs, please contact Four Corners.

For more information on this topic visit these helpful sites:

For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov

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