In 2005, Nov. 14 was designated as World Diabetes Day. To represent this day, Castleview Hospital and the Price Lions Club hosted a diabetes awareness dinner in the hospital classroom on Wednesday. This free event was a way for community members to fill their bellies while learning more about the disease.
Joann Stout, diabetic educator, began the evening by stating that, as of 2015, 30.3 million individuals in the United States have diabetes. That number steadily increases each year and one in three people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes means that a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to yet be considered diabetic.
Many do not notice a difference when it comes to pre-diabetes, which is why it may not be treated in time to prevent diabetes. Diabetes is an auto-immune disorder with different types. Type 1 diabetes means that the body no longer produces insulin and injectable insulin is needed to maintain health. Type 2 diabetes means that the body still produces insulin, but what is produced is either not enough or does not work well enough to maintain balance.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugars while pregnant. Typically, upon delivery, blood sugar returns to normal. However, later in life, those that had gestational diabetes have a greater chance at developing type 2 diabetes. Through an appointment with a medical provider, an individual’s A1C can be tested. A1C tells what an individual’s blood sugar has been 24 hours per day before the last three months. It gives a big picture of where it has been.
Stout then switched to food and drink habits. Food wise, Stout stated that making better choices does greatly help. She explained that dividing up eating time is tantamount to good health overall. If there is not time in the day to eat a full meal, Stout suggests something light and easy. This works much better than skipping a meal altogether because cycles where the body is not receiving sustenance causes the body to store.
Drink habits are a huge part of sugar consumption, Stout stressed. A lot of the time, adjusting drink habits and ensuring that enough food is consumed in the day will make huge effects on blood sugar. Drink choices are very significant to a lifestyle. Stout explained that checking the total carbohydrates on a nutritional label is important due to the body breaking down carbohydrates into sugar.
Stout also spoke on the common misconception that type 2 diabetes only comes from eating too much or gaining a significant amount of weight.
“A lot is bad luck and genetics,” Stout stated.
Activity also plays a big role. Simple exercises such as walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day can make a significant difference. Stout also stated that upper body exercises are beneficial and a good habit to get into. Exercise helps with weight, burning sugars and decreasing blood sugar.
Individuals that are concerned with diabetes or would simply like more information may call Castleview Hospital at (435) 637-4800 or visit the hospital at 300 Hospital Drive in Price.