St. Vincent Charity Medical Recognizes National Diabetes Month
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease. In observation of National Diabetes Month 2013, the Diabetes Education department at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center would like to debunk some common myths surrounding the disease.
Myth or Fact: Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes?
This is a myth. However, being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and a diet high in calories can lead to weight gain. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages will raise blood glucose (sugar) and are high in calories. This includes:
- Regular soda
- Fruit punch
- Fruit drinks
- Energy drinks
- Sports drinks
- Sweet tea
- Other sugary drinks
Myth or Fact: Diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test.
This is a fact. Diabetes can be diagnosed a couple of different ways:
- Fasting blood glucose test – This is a blood test done in the morning before you have anything to eat or drink. If your fasting test is 126 mg/dl or above on two separate days, you likely have diabetes.
- A1C test – This blood test shows your average blood glucose over two to three months. If your A1C is 6.5% or above, you likely have diabetes.
- Random (casual) blood glucose test – If this blood test results in 200 mg/dl or above and you are feeling very thirsty, using the bathroom to urinate more than usual, extremely tired or have blurred vision, you likely have diabetes.
Once diagnosed, it is important to take steps to control diabetes such as monitoring blood glucose at home with a meter, taking medicines or insulin as prescribed, controlling blood pressure at 140/80 or below, keeping cholesterol levels under control and staying active.
There is not a cure for diabetes yet, but it can be controlled. If you have or think you may have diabetes, the Outpatient Diabetes Program at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center can help. We offer individual diabetes education visits, group classes, nutrition education, medical visits with Endocrinologist Dr. Joumana Chaiban and a diabetes support group. If you would like more information about these services please call 216-363-2770. Diabetes is 24/7 and does not take a holiday—let us help you gain control of your diabetes and live each day to the fullest.
Leslie Andrews is the Diabetes Coordinator at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.