Dining with Diabetes program to help cut diabetes risks
Imagine a gathering with 10 of your friends and family members. Now imagine that at least one of you has a disease that can lead to blindness…or amputation…or a stroke. The prospect is not at all far-fetched.
About one in 10 Kansans has been diagnosed with diabetes, a chronic disease characterized by elevated blood sugar (blood glucose). High levels of blood glucose are a result of inadequate production of insulin or a resistance to the effects of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas.
Diabetes increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, or retinopathy that can cause blindness and neuropathy leading to lower limb amputation.
The vast majority of adults who are diagnosed with diabetes – 90 to 95 percent – have Type 2 diabetes which occurs when cells in the body become resistant to the effects of insulin. Prediabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Unlike Type 1, which occurs when the body cannot produce insulin and cannot be prevented, the onset of Type 2 can be prevented.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes include being overweight, age 45 or older, and low levels of physical activity (less than three times per week). Other risk factors include having a family member (parent, brother, or sister) with type 2 diabetes, or having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). To a small degree, race, ethnicity, and gender contribute to overall risk, too.
Some risk factors cannot be changed such as age and family history, but others can be modified. This includes managing your weight, being active, eat healthier, and if you smoke, quit. A quick assessment of your risk can be done at the American Diabetes Association website www.diabetes.org/dibetes-risk/tools-know-your-risk, takes less than a minute,.
Adults with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and their family members, caregivers, and support persons may be interested in K-State Research and Extension Dining with Diabetes online course beginning March 1. Individuals will learn strategies to manage diabetes through menu planning, carbohydrate counting, portion control, and label reading. The five week course is self-paced and participants can choose the level of interaction with the instructor and other participants.
Cost is $25, class size limited, and registration required by February 18th at southwind.ksu.edu/events. For more information or questions, contact Joy Miller at 620-223-3720 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.