Diabetes is a disease involving defects in the way the body uses glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and organs. This involves insulin and other hormones.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, where the body mistakenly destroys cells in the pancreas (betacells) that produce insulin. This is more typically diagnosed in persons under the age of 20, but can occur at any age. Persons with type 1 diabetes need to go on insulin at the time of diagnosis.
Type 2 diabetes is more associate with obesity, where the body is resistant to the effect of insulin and other hormones. This is usually treated with oral medications at diagnosis, but many persons with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin. This is usually diagnosed in adults, but can also be seen in children.
Gestational Diabetes is diabetes of pregnancy. In some women, resistance to the effect of insulin occurs in pregnancy. This is usually treated with dietary management and sometimes insulin.
Prediabetes is a condition of abnormal blood sugar levels, but not abnormal enough to be diagnostic of diabetes. Persons with prediabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Positive lifestyle changes (dietary, exercise) can significantly reduce the risk of converting to type 2 diabetes.
For more information from the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetes: Am I at risk?
People with pre-diabetes have blood glucose (blood sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. These individuals are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
By taking steps to prevent type 2 diabetes, you also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.
Many factors increase your risk for pre-diabetes. See which characteristics apply to you:
- 45 years of age or older
- Parent with diabetes
- Sister or brother with diabetes
- Family background that is African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Had diabetes when pregnant (gestational diabetes), or gave birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more
- Participate in physical activity less than three times a week
If any of these apply to you, you may be at risk for pre-diabetes. Visit with your healthcare provider for ways to reduce your risk of developing diabetes or any related conditions. You may also be a candidate for the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Call 701.780.1838 to learn more about the program.
Altru Diabetes Center, founded in 1998, offers a full complement of treatments for type 1, type 2, and gestational (pregnancy) diabetes.
Our physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed registered dieticians, and certified diabetes educators work as a team to bring lifestyle, medications, and current technology including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring together to customize diabetes plans for children, adolescents, and adults.
Altru’s Diabetes Center serves patients, families and providers in our region through education, leadership, advocacy, and research in diabetes, health promotion and preventive services. Our center offers treatment for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes across the age spectrum. If you or a family member have diabetes, it is easy to arrange a visit at one of our center locations or talk with your health care provider and ask for a referral.
Altru's Diabetes Center Locations:
National Diabetes Prevention Program
National Diabetes Prevention Program Brochure
Altru, in partnership with Altru Family YMCA, are working together to decrease the incidence of diabetes in the Red River Valley. The National Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based, structured lifestyle change program. This program can help you make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by:
- Losing weight through healthy eating
- Being more physically active
- Learning to recognize and overcome barriers to healthy eating and physical activity
The course is led by certified lifestyle coaches and assisted by Altru physicians, dietitians, Y personal trainers, and other specialized personnel. Program participants are able to utilize Altru Family YMCA at no charge during the 16-week core phase of the program.
Participants in the lifestyle change program are assigned two primary goals that have been proven to delay type 2 diabetes in those at high risk:
- Achieve and maintain a weight loss of seven percent of their initial body weight
- Achieve and maintain at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week
The curriculum consists of two parts: a 16 week core curriculum and a six-month post-core curriculum. The first 16 weekly sessions help participants develop lifelong skills for healthy living through step-by-step changes. Participants stay in the same group through this phase.
Following the 16 core sessions, lifestyle coaches offer monthly post-core sessions to provide participants with additional support and learning opportunities.
How to Start
Those who are interested in the program should contact Altru or the Y for a free blood glucose screening to see if they have prediabetes.
Altru Family YMCA
Janet Q. Sherette
Altru Health System
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