National Diabetes Month: Here’s help finding out if you have it & how to manage it


Diabetes is a huge health problem for so many here in Idaho: Nearly 600,000 Idaho adults have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The American Diabetes Association reports that around 8 million Americans have diabetes and many don’t know it. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to learn what you can do to prevent the disease or get help managing it.

How do you find out if you have it?

The ADA recommends that all adults over the age of 45 be screened for diabetes every three years. Catching it early can prevent future complications such as heart disease, stroke, and blindness. Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, will pay for the screening with the recommendation from a healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider today about your options for getting screened for Diabetes.

Is it possible to have prediabetes but still prevent type 2 diabetes?

Prediabetes is where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 Diabetes. For some people, early diagnosis and intervention can return blood glucose levels to the normal range. People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes are eligible to participate in an Idaho Diabetes Prevention Program offered throughout the state. The program will help you take charge of your health to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Find out your risk for developing prediabetes and learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program by going to

What are some ways to prevent type 2 diabetes?

Exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day for five days each week and losing weight will dramatically reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even if you can’t get to your ideal body weight, losing just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.

What are some of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes?

The most common ones include having to urinate often, feeling very hungry and thirsty, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, and cuts and bruises that don’t heal normally, but people often experience no symptoms. Getting tested is important because early diagnosis and treatment can reduce your risk for developing complications from the disease later on.

What are some of those complications?

If the disease isn’t detected early enough, Type 2 diabetes can cause or contribute to kidney disease, high blood pressure (which raises your risk for heart attack and stroke), foot complications from nerve damage, glaucoma, cataracts and other eye problems.

After you’ve been diagnosed, what is the treatment?

Your doctor will work with you to come up with a plan that might include medication or insulin injections, but those lifestyle behaviors I mentioned earlier also are important. There are accredited and recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education programs throughout the state that are reimbursable by Medicaid, Medicare and most insurance plans. In those programs, an educator works with adults with type 2 diabetes to help them find healthy solutions that fit into their lifestyles. Participants need to get a referral from their healthcare providers. You can find a list of these programs at

A Closer Look at Your Health airs weekly on KBOI AM 670 in Boise; this is a transcript of the Nov. 7, 2017 program. 



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