Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can be associated with serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.
Alarming numbers - Cases of diabetes in the United States are increasing at an alarming rate. The CDC reports these figures for 2010:
- Total cases: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
- Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
- Undiagnosed: 7 million people
Download a Centers for Disease Control diabetes fact sheet here.
Virginia is in the Diabetes Belt. In the U.S., 644 counties in 15 states have the highest incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. Our area has been specically identified as having a high incidence of diabetes. Right here is where diabetes care and prevention is most needed. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are two of the four major contributing factors to the increased incidence of diabetes. For most people, these are lifestyle choices that can be controlled through education and well thought-out exercise and diet plans.
Diet, exercise, insulin and oral medication to lower blood glucose levels are the foundation of diabetes treatment and management. Patient education and self-care practices are also important aspects of disease management that help people with diabetes lead normal lives.
Type 1 diabetes
Previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile onset diabetes, Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, the only cells in the body that make the hormone insulin that regulates blood glucose. This form of diabetes usually strikes children and young adults, although disease onset can occur at any age.
Type 2 diabetes
Previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes, Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90-95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. It usually begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in which the cells do not use insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.
This is a form of glucose intolerance that is diagnosed in some women during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently among African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and American Indians. It is also more common among obese women and women with a family history of diabetes. During pregnancy, gestational diabetes requires treatment to normalize maternal blood glucose levels to avoid complications in the infant.
Knowledge is power, and we are here for you.
Comprehensive Diabetes Program
CRMC offers diabetes education at the Lifestyle Center for children as well as adults. If you have recently been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia or gestational diabetes, the certified professionals at the Lifestyle Center can teach you everything you need to know about your disease. Patient education and self-care practices are important aspects of disease management that help people with diabetes lead normal lives. Diabetes affects many different life activities. The educators teach you how to control your diabetes with medication, nutrition and exercise.
- A 1 hour appointment with a registered nurse.
- A 1 hour appointment with a registered dietitian.
- Three 2 1/2 hour educational classes that include: Learning the Diabetes Basics, Medication & Insulin, Nutrition, Exercise for Control/ Preventing Complications, and Cooking for Diabetes.
How to make an appointment
These classes are offered by appointment. Contact your physician to discuss your participation in our program. Most insurances will cover the program if you are diagnosed with diabetes. (Co-pays will apply, depending on your insurance coverage). We recommend that you contact your insurance carrier prior to your appointment to ensure coverage.
Your doctor will need to write a prescription for “Complete Diabetes Education Program” and fax it to the scheduling office at 757-312-6271. Or call 757-312-6137.
Flexible Insulin Therapy (FIT)
Matching insulin doses to your lifestyle and food choices can lead to better control and may help your insulin work better. The Certified Diabetes Educators at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center are experts in diabetes education and management. Let them help you control your diabetes instead of letting your diabetes control you.