November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is joining the American Diabetes Association, International Diabetes Foundation and World Health Organization to raise awareness of diabetes, especially in women.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body, specifically the pancreas, does not produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or does not properly utilize insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a vital hormone that regulates blood sugar, which fuels the body for life-sustaining processes.
Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, blurry vision, extreme hunger, excessive thirst, increased fatigue, irritability, unexplained weight loss as well as infections and slow healing of cuts or sores.
While the cause of diabetes is unknown, people may be more at risk for diabetes if they are age 45 or older, are overweight or have a family history of the disease. In 2015, 84 million Americans age 18 and older were diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and currently 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year. By 2050, about 1 in every 3 people will develop diabetes.
This disease can lead to devastating long-term complications including blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations and even death. Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2015 and the primary cause of death for 79,535 Americans each year.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.4 million Americans age 20 and older are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year. However, this condition is not only seen in adults. In fact, approximately 208,000 people younger than age 20 have diabetes.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 of each year, and the theme for 2017 is “Women and Diabetes – Our Right to a Healthy Future.” This year’s campaign is meant to promote the importance of affordable and fair access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to essential diabetes medicines, technologies, self-management education and information.
According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes around the world. This total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Additionally, approximately one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes.
Diabetes can cause several health problems in women. For instance, women with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of having an early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations. The International Diabetes Foundation also states that women with type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition.
PCRMC provides many resources and educational opportunities for people diagnosed with diabetes along with their families and caregivers.
The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic at PCRMC, which is fully accredited by the American Diabetes Association, has the tools people need to manage their diabetes and enjoy life. Patients must be referred to the clinic by their primary care provider. Diabetes self-management education/training helps patients to improve glycemic control, which could reduce the risk for diabetes complications, hospitalizations and healthcare costs.
The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic is located at the PCRMC North Entrance, 1000 West 10th St., Rolla. There also are outpatient clinics Tuesday evenings only at Forest City Family Practice, 1000 North Jefferson St., in St. James and Thursdays only at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, 1000 GW Lane St., in Waynesville.
In addition, PCRMC offers a free diabetes support group on the first Saturday of each month (except for January and July) from 10 a.m. to noon in Private Dining Room 2 near the cafeteria at PCRMC in Rolla. For more information about diabetes self-management education/training and the monthly support group, call 573-458-7697 or visit pcrmc.com.