By guest blogger Megan McGill, Dietetic Intern
November recognizes a disease that the South has given its own nickname:
“The Sugar”. Though you may or may not be familiar with the
name “the sugar” in reference to diabetes, Trident Health
is here to tell you the
What, Why, Who, and
How of this disease.
what is diabetes? In order to understand the importance of this disease, you
must first be aware of the different types of diabetes and diagnoses.
Type 1 Diabetes :
Represents ~5-10% of diabetes diagnoses
Your body does not make insulin
Typically diagnosed in childhood
Type 2 Diabetes :
Represents ~90-95% of diabetes diagnoses
Your body makes insulin, but your body doesn’t use it well
Often occurs with obesity
Diagnosed by a fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/dL
Typically diagnosed later in life
High blood sugar levels during pregnancy
Increases risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes
Diagnosed by a glucose challenge test. Glucose challenge testing involves
drinking a syrupy sugar solution. If blood sugar is greater than 140 mg/dL
after one hour, you have a higher risk for gestational diabetes. Repeat
testing will be ordered by your doctor to determine final diagnosis
Typically diagnosed prior to Type 2 Diabetes
Fasting blood sugar of 100-125mg/dL and/or
Hemoglobin A1C between 5.7-6.4% (Normal is <5.7%)
Now that you are aware of the definition and diagnosis of the varying types
of diabetes, we want to tell you
why you should care.
South Carolina represents one of the leading states in diabetes as far
as prevalence and severity. According to the South Carolina Department
of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Burden of Diabetes Report 2012:
South Carolina has a diabetes prevalence 20% higher than the national rate
Diabetes represents the 7th leading cause of death in South Carolina.
1 in 5 patients in a South Carolina hospital has diabetes
1 in 10 visits to the ER is related to this disease
Specific to the Tri-county area, Berkeley and Charleston counties had a
nearly 8% prevalence rate for adult self-reported diabetes lifetime prevalence
in 2010, with Dorchester county reaching slightly over 9% at this time.
These rates are likely higher now, with increasing prevalence of diabetes
in the state and nation as whole since 2010.
These statistics are frightening; however, there are steps you can take
to help with early detection of diabetes and ways to improve quality of
life if you are already living with this disease.
The first step in taking action to prevent and treat diabetes is figuring out
who is at risk?
Important risk factors for diabetes include:
First-degree relative with diabetes
Members of a high-risk ethnic population (African-Americans, Hispanics,
or Native American)
Elevated HDL cholesterol or triglyceride level
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, history of cardiovascular disease
or gestational diabetes
Testing is recommended for everyone starting at age 45, however, earlier
testing can lead to earlier detection and possible prevention of diabetes
Now that you know the factors that put you at risk for diabetes,
how can you lower your risk of developing this disease? Following these simple
tips below is a good start!
According to the American Diabetes Association, you can lower your risk
of developing diabetes by:
Maintaining a healthy weight- Weight loss as low as 7% of your body weight
can have a positive impact on blood sugar levels
Eating a nutritious diet- Start with eliminating sugar sweetened beverages
and reducing your intake of starchy, simple carbohydrates
Being physically active- Work towards 150 minutes a week, which breaks
down to 30 minutes, five times a week.
For more information on how to lower your risk for diabetes, and tips to
manage living with diabetes if you have already been diagnosed, visit
American Diabetes Association for a variety of helpful tools and resources.
In the Summerville area, the YMCA recently began offering a Diabetes Prevention
Program, designed to help individuals prevent the progression from pre-diabetes
to diabetes. The 16 week program includes a one year membership to the
Summerville Family YMCA! A new session kicks off in January 2016. Contact
Amanda Metzger at 843-871-9622 ext. 202 for information on how to enroll.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes you can schedule an appointment
with our Diabetes Education Department. A physician referral is required
for initial assessment. Call Cathy Reinhart, RN, CDE at 843-847-5000 ext. 1.