Diabetes: Avoiding a preventable disease

Yampa Valley Medical Center exhibit highlights causes, treatment

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Research has shown that Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease, yet between 6 percent and 7 percent of Americans have it.

A bad diet, inactive lifestyle or a family history of diabetes are red flags for potential diabetes victims. From 2 to 6 p.m. today at Yampa Valley Medical Center, residents can learn more about diabetes risk factors and treatment options during a community diabetes exhibit.

"People can also stay in touch with what is the newest and greatest in diabetes equipment and treatment," said Jane Dickinson, director of the diabetes education program.

Medical equipment vendors will be at the hospital to answer questions and display the newest blood-glucose meters and insulin pumps. Representatives from diabetes companies will be available to answer questions, and free information will be available about diabetes management.

Information about a day-long summer camp for children with diabetes also will be available, Dickinson said, adding that it's unclear how many people in Routt County have diabetes.

"I would say, in general, it is not as much of an issue in Routt County because of the active nature of our community, and many kids are involved in outdoor activities," she said.

The county still is home to some of the conveniences that can contribute to obesity, such as fast food, Dickinson said.

"Research shows that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by someone who is overweight by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight," Dickinson said.

An estimated 6 million Americans might not know they have diabetes, said Dr. Kevin Borgerding, medical director of the diabetes education program for Yampa Valley Medical Associates.

Type 2 diabetes is putting a huge burden on the health care system, and early detection is important, Borgerding said.

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4204 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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