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Take action to reduce your diabetes risk

November 10, 2010
November is the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18 million people have diagnosed diabetes and an estimated six million people are still undiagnosed. Since 1990 the incidence of diabetes has risen eight percent. A progressive disease, diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and loss of limbs. “But you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes,” says Annegret Howe, RD, CDE, coordinator of St. Mary’s Diabetes Program. “Controlling your weight, getting more exercise, and making healthy food choices will lower your risk.” For those who have already been diagnosed, St. Mary’s offers monthly diabetes and nutrition education programs. “If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your physician can provide a referral to our classes. The sooner you take action and manage your care, the less damaging the disease is likely to be,” Howe explains. Whether just diagnosed or living with the condition for years, St. Mary’s Diabetes Education Program provides education and practical guidance on diet, exercise, medication, and day-to-day living skills, helping people with diabetes live their healthiest possible life. Diabetes Risk Test Take the “Diabetes Risk Test” at www.diabetes.org or contact St. Mary’s Diabetes Education Program at (970) 298-1998 for a copy of the test. If your score indicates your risk is high, contact your doctor.