Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:10PM - 126 Views

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Frank Lewis


PDT Staff Writer


If you are someone with a family member with Type-2 diabetes, you may be at greater risk than some others. Families often share the same habits and this can mean big risks. If you share the ways you eat, foods you choose, and the ways you prepare things then you share some of the same risks. Some families spend more time sitting and not being physically active. Also, if your waist line is bigger than it used to be and your clothes are tighter than you like, then you might also be at risk.


Nationally, Type-2 diabetes affects about eight percent of the population, but for unknown reasons the rate is higher in Appalachia. For instance, in eastern Kentucky about 11.7 percent of local people have diabetes. Families often have many members with that chronic disease. Diabetes is often a silent disease. Many people have the disease for five or more years before having a doctor tell them it is diabetes. It is often the complication or problem linked to diabetes that takes people to the doctor.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, new cases of blindness, and a major cause of heart disease and stroke. The CDC say diabetes effects every part of your body, and even when diabetes is silent and you do not see bad things happening, it can still be causing serious problems. The quantity and quality of your life is important and so it is good to be informed about things you can do.


The CDC says two different kinds of diabetes are the most common. Type-1 diabetes usually happens when children are young. In this disease, your body is not capable of making insulin. This is why those with Type-1 diabetes always take insulin and take it for life. With Type-2 diabetes, your ability to make insulin gets slower and sometimes quits altogether. Type-2 diabetes used to happen mostly in older people, but that is not true today. Doctors are finding Type-2 diabetes in young children, teens, and young adults. The disease is diagnosed when you have a high blood glucose level. Sometimes even young children also have high cholesterol and blood pressure. Experts say making small changes can reap big rewards.


November is National Diabetes Month, and the good news is that Type-2 diabetes can often be prevented and complications delayed. Making even small changes in your lifestyle can make big differences. Losing even 5 to 6 percent of your total body weight or getting 30 minutes of moderate activity daily can make big differences. It is important to get regular medical check-ups and have your blood glucose level checked. Denying the problem does not make it go away. In fact if you ignore the problems, your risks for other problems increase.


Sharon Carver, Community Health Specialist at Southern Ohio Medical Center, is inviting those interested in learning more of what you can do to minimize the effects of diabetes, or who have questions about the disease, to join the Scioto County Healthy Lifestyles Initiative. Carver said that group is working hard to help local people get and stay healthy. Find out how to get involved through your church and the Healthy for Good Program.


You can contact Carver at 740-876-4262 or email carvers30@yahoo.com. Other ways to get more information about ways to manage and prevent Type-2 diabetes are available at www.diabetesfamily.net. And you can find out more about the problem and work in your county at www.diabetesappalachia.net.


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com

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