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Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when our bodies are not able to process blood sugars. This happens for two reasons. Either we are not able to produce enough insulin to change the glucose, a type of sugar, in our food to fuel, or because our cells do not respond to the insulin produced and simply allow the glucose to flush out of our body with urine.

The percentage of adult Americans diagnosed with diabetes has been on a steady rise in the past 20 years. Current statistics indicate almost 26 million American have diabetes, 79 million have pre-diabetes and 17.9 million people have been diagnosed with the disease. It is estimated that 7.4% of the adult population in Ventura County have diabetes and 23.1% of adults are obese and at risk.

Preventing and Diagnosing

Persons with diabetes are at increased risk for serious health complications such as blindness, limb amputation, and kidney and liver failure. Adults with diabetes are at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and at least 65 percent of those with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Preventive care practices have been shown to be effective in reducing both the incidence and the progression of diabetes-related complications.

These methods primarily include management of weight through diet, regular exercise, and depending on the type of diabetes, the assistance of medication. Regular visits to a doctor and monitoring our health before any symptoms of disease appear is recommended. For diabetes, regular blood tests are highly recommended.

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Prevent Diabetes with a "Game Plan"

If you're at risk for diabetes, research has shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing a small amount of weight and getting 30 minutes of physical activity such as brisk walking, five days a week. The National Diabetes Education Program offers a free "Game Plan" kit on their website to make it as easy as possible for you to take steps now to prevent diabetes.

See http://www.ndep.nih.gov/am-i-at-risk/TakeSmallSteps.aspx

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Who is at Risk?

People of any age can get diabetes, from infants, to teens and adults. Some risk factors are:

  • If you are physically inactive
  • If you have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • If you have a family background that is Hispanic/Latino, African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • If you have conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as severe obesity
  • If you have a history of cardiovascular disease
  • If you have high blood pressure or are being treated for high blood pressure
  • If your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol is low

If diabetes may be a problem for you or a family member, talk to your health care provider.

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Las Islas Diabetes Center, a VCMC affiliated clinic: 325 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Oxnard  •  (805) 486-2145