Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center joins the American Diabetes Association’s (ASDA) National Diabetes Month this November in spreading the message that diabetes is preventable, and once diagnosed, manageable. According to the ADA, diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s uncontrolled. People who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes like increasing physical activity, losing a moderate amount of weight, and eating healthy. Together, we can use American Diabetes Month to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes.
Dr. Michael Seidman, a Claxton-Hepburn physician who has a long history of treating patients with diabetes states, “Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. It affects the body in many ways, and we see these complications every day. Diabetes often leads to other serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, lower limb amputations, and kidney failure.” He added, “Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in adults.”
The February 2017 North Country Vitals Regional Health in Focus newsletter stated that eleven percent of St. Lawrence County adults have diabetes. Across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County, 27,000 of adults report having diabetes or pre-diabetes. Dr. Seidman stated, “It is imperative for people to know if they have diabetes because they are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure, fair to poor physical and mental health, likely to be obese, and more likely to have respiratory and heart disease.” He continued, “When we know a person has diabetes or prediabetes we can teach patients how to manage their condition and slow down or in the case of prediabetes, even prevent the disease.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people over age 45 consider getting tested, especially those who are overweight. Their risk assessment tool is on the web at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/prediabetestest.pdf. In addition to screening, people can take steps like exercising, moderate weight loss, and use of disease self-management skills to control potential problems of diabetes, prevent its complications, and sometimes prolong life.
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center offers several options to help people manage their diabetes or prediabetes. We provide a free sixteen-week diabetes prevention program, one-on-one diabetes counseling with our certified diabetes educator, diabetes self-management group classes, chronic disease self-management classes, and a diabetes support group. Dr. Seidman concluded by stating, “By establishing a healthy lifestyle and seeking disease management help, people with diabetes can control potential problems, prevent complications and enhance their quality and length of life.”
For more information about diabetes services at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, visit us on the web at www.claxtonhepburn.org/diabetes. Your tomorrow is worth defending.