April 13, 2010
West Virginia is the number one state in the U.S. for diagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes. It is estimated that while 234,000 people in West Virginia have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are 78,000 people who are undiagnosed. Diabetes is typically diagnosed with a glucose tolerance test or a fasting glucose test. Recently, the use of the hemoglobin A1C test has been recognized as a way to diagnose diabetes. The hemoglobin A1C test gives an average of a person’s blood sugar over the past two to three months, and has typically been used to show how an individual’s diabetes treatment plan is working. “The hemoglobin A1C test is another option for diagnosis of diabetes,” said Teresa Waugh, RN, certified diabetes educator at CAMC. “It’s not a ‘new’ test because it has been used to measure average blood sugar control, but earlier this year, the American Diabetes Association accepted it as an accurate diagnosis tool.” Regardless of the way in which diabetes is diagnosed, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes: • Increased urination • Increased thirst • Feeling tired • Increased hunger • Blurred vision • Dizziness • Dry, itchy skin • Increased infection Diabetes can be treated by adhering to a program of education, physical activity, meal planning, medication and monitoring blood glucose. The goal of treating diabetes is to get blood glucose levels under control. If not properly managed, diabetes can have serious complications. • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults. • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes. The CAMC Outpatient Diabetes Education program provides individual and group training for diabetes self-management as well as diabetes and pregnancy. “We recently started an insulin pump training for people interested in beginning insulin pump therapy,” Waugh said. Diabetes education services are covered by most insurance companies. For more information about the program, call (304) 388-5555 or e-mail diabetes@camc.org.

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