More than 25 million Americans have diabetes and as many as 8 million people may not even know they have it. Pre-Diabetes affects 1-in-3 Americans. Learn to prevent or control diabetes at two free educational seminars at Ashtabula County Medical Center. Saturday morning classes are January 19 and February 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday evening classes are January 21 and February 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All classes meet in the ACMC 5th Floor Solarium.
ACMC Diabetes Educator Lori Gilhousen, RN, CDE, said diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and some deaths could be prevented with early detection and careful disease management including lifestyle changes. Pre-Diabetes can progress to Type 2 diabetes in five years for some people according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
"Diabetes symptoms can go unrecognized for a long time," said Gilhousen. "The longer you have higher than normal blood sugars, the risk of developing health problems for vision, kidney, nerve increases. There is also an increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Healing is slower with higher blood sugars so colds, flu, wound, and infections can be more severe and more frequent."
In the first class, participants will learn the initial steps of lifestyle changes needed to manage diabetes – learn your risk markers, how to adapt eating and meal preparation, why movement and exercise are key. The second class will focus more on personal monitoring and accountability – how to safely and successfully use a blood sugar monitor, learn how to use your individual monitoring to manage this disease for your lifetime, and how to build momentum and stay engaged with care. Diabetes is a progressive disease that will require changes to the treatment and management plan for a lifetime.
"The class will also include information for family members on supporting their friends or loved ones who have diabetes. We will also spend time discussing pre-diabetes and how your lifestyle changes today can potentially stop the progression to diabetes," Gilhousen said.