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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes

Diabetes Self-Management classes Begin Wed Oct 24

Published Oct. 16, 2012 @ 6 a.m.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes has increased by 3 million in 3 years to a new high of 24 million in the United States. This means that almost 8 percent of people in the U.S. have diabetes. Almost a quarter of people over 65 years old have diabetes. In addition, 57 million people have pre-diabetes, which means they are at very high risk for developing diabetes.  According to the 2012 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 9.7% of adults 18 years and older in Texas have been diagnosed with diabetes. Three hundred twenty three residents over age 18 in Garza County have diabetes.

Are you or someone in your family at risk for type 2 diabetes? Your risk is higher if you are over 45 years of age, especially if you are over your recommended weight. You are also at higher risk if you are less than 45 years of age and have any one of these risk factors: physically inactive; have close relatives with diabetes; are a member of high-risk ethnic populations such as African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander; have delivered a baby weighing over 9 pounds; have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, polycystic ovary syndrome, tests indicating your body is not handling glucose well, or a history of vascular disease.

If you think you are at risk, ask your doctor or clinic for a fasting blood glucose test. Then, make sure you understand the results when they come back to you. Ask for a copy, and keep that copy somewhere so you can find it and compare future results. Doctors and other health care professionals can provide advice and medicines, but the person with diabetes has to manage it every day.

If you are told your results indicate you do have pre-diabetes, is there anything you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes? The Diabetes Prevention Program showed the answer is “yes.” By walking 30 minutes daily for 5 days each week at a moderate speed and losing 7 percent of your body weight, 58 percent of the people participating in this study did not develop diabetes.

If you know you have diabetes or just want to learn more about how to make sure you do the best you can by keeping your blood glucose in the range recommended by the American Diabetes Association (70 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL), I will be teaching a 5 week series of diabetes self-management classes next Wednesday October 24th from 9 – 11 am at the Extension office.  Dr. Carol Rice, PhD, RN, a Texas A&M professor and Extension health specialist has developed the Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes educational program to educate participants about the disease and how to best manage it. There will be a $20.00 fee to cover the materials and snacks. 

For more information on the classes and to reserve a space, call the Garza County Extension office at 806-495-4400.  Persons with diabetes, persons who have been told they have pre-diabetes and caregivers are encouraged to attend.  With enough interest, an evening session is possible.  Get informed! 

Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.  The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating

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