To the Journal editor:
The statistics are dire: Ten percent of us live with diabetes and another 35 percent are at high risk for developing diabetes. If things don't change, one out of three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their life.
In addition, almost 80 percent of seniors have diabetes or pre-diabetes; many are not diagnosed. Nearly 95 percent of those who develop diabetes have a lifestyle link, too much food and too little activity coupled with overweight and changing how they live may help prevent or delay diabetes.
The other 5 to 10 percent have type 1 diabetes, which cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle.
November is National Diabetes Awareness month and the perfect time for those living with diabetes or pre-diabetes to reflect on their self care and do one thing to better take care of their diabetes and their health. It is also a great time to check in with your local diabetes educator and registered dietitian, more time with both have been shown to help lower blood glucose and both are covered by Medicare Part B and some insurance plans.
For those who don't have diabetes, look at your risk for developing diabetes. Are you overweight? Do you have high blood pressure and problems with cholesterol or triglycerides? Do you get little or no activity most days of the week? Do you have close family members with diabetes or are you over 65?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be at high risk of developing or having undetected diabetes. Talk with your doctor today. He or she can order a simple blood test that can check for diabetes. Medicare Part B also covers diabetes tests for those with risk factors.
Diabetes is always serious and it can be deadly, disabling if not detected early and treated appropriately. There is no cure for diabetes, but is can be managed.
Ann Constance, director
U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network