Accepting a diabetes diagnosis can be difficult, especially when you must
change previous habits and adapt your lifestyle. But there’s good
news: millions of people live full, happy, active and healthy lives, even
“If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too
much glucose in your blood, although the causes may differ,” says
Annette Crombie, CVMC Diabetes Education Coordinator. “Too much
glucose can lead to serious health problems, but at our
Center for Diabetes Control, we take a team approach with one simple goal in mind – helping
our patients manage their diabetes well.”
Type 1 Diabetes: a serious, chronic and lifelong disease that occurs when
the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot
convert the glucose (blood sugar) from food into fuel to keep the body
functioning. Daily insulin injections are required to survive. Type 1
diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults, and therefore,
has also been referred to as ‘juvenile diabetes’. However,
it can develop at any age and those with a family history are at highest
risk. In Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks ‘beta
cells’ in the pancreas, prohibiting it from producing insulin. Reasons
for this are still unknown, but genetics plays a major role.
Type 2 Diabetes: the most common form of diabetes, in which the body develops
an ‘insulin resistance’ and does not make or use insulin properly.
This causes the glucose (sugar) to stay in the blood, causing a variety
of health problems and potentially leading to heart disease, stroke, nerve
damage, and kidney or eye problems. In Type 2 diabetes, risk factors include
those that can and cannot be controlled. Uncontrollable risk factors include:
family history; race or ethnic background; age; history of gestational
diabetes. Controllable risk factors include: being overweight/obesity;
physical inactivity; high blood pressure; abnormal cholesterol levels, etc.
Pre-diabetes: this means that your blood sugar is higher than normal and
likely your body is having trouble converting glucose into energy. These
levels are not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic, but without making
some healthy changes, there is a high risk you will eventually develop
Type 2 diabetes.
The ABC’s of Managing Diabetes
- A stands for the A1C Test. This test shows you what your blood glucose
levels have been over the last three months. The goal for many is below 7.
- B stands for Blood Pressure. The blood pressure goal for most people with
diabetes is below 140/90, but each person’s goals may vary.
- C stands for Cholesterol. Ask your healthcare provider what your cholesterol
numbers should be. LDL cholesterol is ‘bad’ cholesterol, causing
a build up and clogging in the arteries, whereas HDL or ‘good’
cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from the blood vessels.
Crombie says, “The risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50%
higher than for adults without diabetes. And, at least 1 out of 3 people
will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. This is why it is important
for you to work with a healthcare team to reach your ‘ABC goals’
and to develop a management plan that is right for you.”
Call the CVMC Provider Referral Line at 828.485.2300 for help finding a
primary care provider near your home or business. Click here to find out
more about the providers associated with CVMC in the Catawba Valley Medical
Group and its 15 family practices. Many of our primary care providers
have received national recognition from the National Committee for Quality
Assurance (NCQA) for providing quality care to patients with diabetes.
Making lifestyle changes is not easy, but it is critical for you to maintain
a healthy, long life. Learn more about managing diabetes at one of the
following upcoming classes or support groups held at the CVMC Center for
Diabetes Control located at 810 Fairgrove Church Rd, Hickory, NC 28602:
Diabetes Comprehensive Education Class Series – Offered for both
diabetes patients and caregivers, participants attending this series of
four classes receive information on managing diabetes with topics such
as how to track blood sugar numbers, plan healthy meals, consider treatment
options, medication and monitoring, physical activity, acute and chronic
complications, psychosocial adjustment and a post class A1C. Please note:
participants must have a physician referral to attend.
Upcoming Dates for the Diabetes Comprehensive Education Class
- 9am to 11am on Thursdays 9/7, 9/14, 9/21 and 10/19
- 6pm to 8pm on Thursdays 9/7, 9/14, 9/21 and 10/19
- 9am to 11am on Thursdays 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, and 12/7
- 6pm to 8pm on Thursdays 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, and 12/7
Adults with Diabetes Support Group meets every other month on the first Tuesday
Upcoming sessions: 6:30 to 7:30pm on Tuesdays
Young Persons with Diabetes Support Group meets every other month on the
Upcoming sessions: 6:30 to 7:30pm on Thursdays
Need more information? Please contact the CVMC Center for Diabetes Control
at 828.326.3442 or email Annette Crombie at email@example.com.