County population has high rate of diabetes

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Pocahontas County has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the state with nearly 11 percent of its population – aged 20 or older – being told by a doctor that they have diabetes. Not included in this are the many folks who are at risk for diabetes, have pre-diabetes or simply do not know that they have diabetes. Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, and it is estimated that as many as one in every three adults will have the disease by the year 2050.

The month of November is recognized as American Diabetes Month. Throughout November, the PMH Lifeline will be featuring information on diabetes.

Diabetes causes more deaths in a single year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Because diabetes is related to so many health problems, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. It is the leading cause of kidney failure and also the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

Diabetes is categorized into three types: prediabetes, type 1, and type 2.

Prediabetes is characterized by higher than normal blood sugar (glucose) levels in the blood, but still not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so you may have it and not even know it! The good news is that with the proper diet, weight control, and exercise you can actually reverse prediabetes and keep it from developing into full-blown type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. It is a lifelong condition. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar and starches into energy needed for daily life. Only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and treatments, even young children can learn to manage the condition and enjoy long, healthy, happy lives.

Type 2 diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2, your body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use it right. If you don’t have enough insulin, your blood sugar goes too high. Whereas a person is born with type 1 diabetes, type 2 can develop over time due to heredity and poor lifestyle choices.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to help all those affected by diabetes or prediabetes. We are incredibly fortunate to have Terry Wagner on staff not only as the Chief Operating Officer, but also as a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Nurse. Terry is eager to help anyone in any stages of this disease learn more about diabetes and their treatment and management options. You may reach Terry by calling the hospital at 304-799-7400 ext. 1032. Please visit our website at to learn more about the many opportunities we offer for education and support.


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