“79 million Americans aged 20 years or older have pre-diabetes. Only 7.3% of Americans with pre-diabetes have been told they have it.”- American Diabetes Association.
Pre Diabetes: Are you at Risk?
What is Pre-Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition where the body no longer handles ingested carbohydrates or sugars efficiently. It is characterized by elevated fasting blood sugars of 100 to 125 mg/dL (126 mg/dL or greater is considered true diabetes). Pre-diabetes may also be diagnosed if the person’s blood sugar is between 140 and 199 after ingesting a standard glucose load (200 or over is criteria for true diabetes). People with elevated fasting blood sugars are said to have impaired fasting glucose or IFG. Those with elevated blood sugars after eating are said to have impaired glucose tolerance or IGT.
Who Should Be Tested for Pre-Diabetes?
A patient at risk for pre-diabetes, which would include anyone of any age who is overweight, has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or strong history of diabetes should be screened yearly. In addition, anyone over the age of 45 should also have yearly screenings.
Why is it Important to be Screened for Pre-Diabetes?
It is currently thought that if untreated almost all patients with pre-diabetes will eventually progress to true diabetes. True diabetes carries a terrible price in premature death, heart disease, stroke and blindness. There is mounting evidence that early intervention in patients with pre-diabetes may delay or even prevent onset of true diabetes and many of the diseases associated with it.
If a Person has Pre-Diabetes, What Can Be Done?
The staff of The Richland Aware-ness Campaign (TRAC) are specially trained to teach you the basic principles outlined by the American Diabetic Association regarding the steps that must be taken in patients with pre-diabetes to prevent the advancement of the disease. We will work closely with your doctor and other medical personnel to follow your progress. If your pre-diabetic condition worsens or you are found to have other cardiovascular risk factors, there is an inexpensive medication available that may help prevent the onset of true diabetes and may reduce overall health risks. The staff of The Richland Awareness Campaign will be there for you to provide guidance throughout the entire process.
What If I Want to be Screened, But I Do Not Have a Doctor or Insurance Coverage?
The Richland Awareness Campaign pre-diabetes program is sponsored in part by grant money from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources (Health Resources and Services Administration) and we are able to provide many of the tests needed at no cost to uninsured or underinsured clients. We also have connections with local rural health clinics and tele-health capability with LSU-Shreveport in order to provide further medical guidance and treatment when needed. We are excited to be able to offer our services to anyone regardless of their financial resources.
Remember…PREVENTION is key!
For more information, please contact:
Richland Health & Resource Center Delhi, Louisiana 71232