Will Miller, PA-C

Diabetes one of the most prevalent conditions in the county

When a person has diabetes, the body is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. One out of four people with diabetes are not aware that they have it. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start making healthy changes that will benefit you now and in the future.

There is no cure for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes the difference: eating a healthy diet and being physically active. In fact, studies have shown that these simple lifestyle modifications can delay, or even prevent, the onset of type 2 diabetes.

You can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by losing just a small amount of weight and getting regular physical activity. A small amount of weight loss means around 5 percent of your body weight, just 10 pounds for a 200-pound person. Regular physical activity means walking just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

If you have diabetes then you should know your ABCs:

• A — the A1C test, which measures average blood sugar over 3 months.

• B — blood pressure.

• C — cholesterol.

• S — stop smoking.

People with diabetes are at higher risk for serious health complications, including:

• Heart attack and stroke;

• Blindness;

• Kidney failure;

• Amputations;

However, controlling your blood sugar levels can help you avoid these serious health problems.

There are many medications available to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin is usually the first medicine chosen. Thereafter, insulin and other injectables can be used. As the disease progresses insulin is often needed, but this is nothing to be fearful of. The newer basal (long acting) insulins are much less likely to cause hypoglycemia (sudden drop in glucose levels) than the older ones. Injectables other than insulin, such as the GLP-1 class, can control diabetes and liraglutide and lower your risk of cardiovascular death.

The Clover Fork Clinic is pleased to provide a National Diabetes Prevention Program based on the current CDC curriculum, Prevent T2. Information can be provided by, and appointments made with, our Certified NDPP Lifestyle Coach Seth Napier, RN at 837-3576 or 573-2586.