MARQUETTE COUNTY — November is recognized in the United States as National Diabetes Month, and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Local health authorities are encouraging everyone to get educated and healthy.
The three primary forms of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce the insulin their bodies need. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women, and it leaves them at risk of getting type two diabetes later in life.
In patients with type 2 diabetes, their bodies produce insulin, but it is not enough to control their blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes also increases a patient’s risk of heart disease. Some risk factors for getting type 2 diabetes include being overweight, inactivity, and family history of the disease.
“You can’t do much about your family history, but you certainly can decrease weight and be more active,” said JoAnn Manty, Diabetes Educator for U.P. Health System – Bell Family Medicine. “Walking is a fine activity. You don’t have to have a gym membership, just walking works as well. One thing here in the U.P., we have to be careful of walking in the winter on slippery surfaces, so having an alternative for exercise in the winter is very helpful.”
Manty is also encouraging people to be aware of their risk of prediabetes.
The Lions Club of Michigan is raising awareness this month of prediabetes. The Lions Club is hosting free diabetes and prediabetes tests at several locations on select dates throughout the rest of November.
There is also a free test that anyone can take online to determine their potential risk. Manty says it’s important to start conversations about diabetes so that people will become aware of and take control of their health.
“It’s important to have the recognition of World Diabetes Day as well as National Diabetes Month to raise awareness,” said Manty. “Some people don’t know what their blood sugars are and they don’t see a physician or a provider, so it’s important to get to know what your fasting blood sugar is, to take the test, and to know the number.”