What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes
Some possible symptoms are an unusual thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, and unexplained fatigue.
Who should be tested for Pre-Diabetes?
If you are age 45 or older and are overweight, it is wise to be tested for pre-diabetes during your next routine visit with your doctor. If you are over age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor during your next routine visit if testing is necessary.
Risk factors for pre-diabetes include:
- Family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
- High triglycerides
- History of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Belonging to an ethnic group at high risk for diabetes- African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander
How do you know if you have diabetes?
Most common symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Unusual thirst
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
- Frequent skin, bladder and gum infections
- Extreme fatigue
- Slow healing cuts and bruises
- Unexplained weight loss
- Genital itching (recurring yeast infections)
- Intense hunger
To find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes download and complete the following questionnaire:
To learn more about diabetes:
- American Diabetes Association
- American Dietetic Association
- Center for Disease Control – Diabetes Program
- Illinois Diabetes Control Program
Diabetes Program Services
A1c testing and Cholesterol screening which includes a glucose screening.
A lending library is available to all Macoupin County residents. The library includes a variety of books including cookbooks and various American Diabetes Association topics. Books for teens and young children are also available.
Take Charge of Your Diabetes Workshop
The workshop is a self-management program and is proved effective for improving outcomes such as blood sugar levels, health status and quality of life.
This six-week program can give you the tools you need to manage your diabetes. It provides a safe environment to practice these skills including informed decision making, problem solving and active collaboration with your health care team. It allows you the opportunity to identify our own barriers to success and to create plans to eliminate these barriers. Each workshop includes six sessions that are held once a week. Each week the session meets for 2 ½ hours with planned breaks and time for questions.
The workshop is fun and interactive. Each week you learn about different topics such as healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, reducing risks, and healthy coping skills.
Family and friends are welcome to attend the workshop.
The workshop is free and donations will be accepted. Take Charge of Your Diabetes was created by Stanford University as a Diabetes Self Management Program. In Macoupin County the program is funded by the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland and sponsored by the Macoupin County Public Health Department. Area businesses graciously provide facilities to host the workshop. For more information including date, time and location for the next workshop series, contact Debbie Link at 217-854-3223, ext. 225 or [email protected].
Maple Street Medical Clinic provides medical, dental and behavioral health services at affordable costs.