November is Diabetes Awareness Month

30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 don’t know it, according to the CDC. With the risk factors as the population ages and obesity increases, we could see numbers as high as one in three individuals by 2050. To call this trend alarming is an understatement. World Diabetes Day is November 14, 2018 and diabetes concerns every family.

We see a number of people each day with diabetes – including type 1, type 2 as well as gestational diabetes. In addition, we are seeing an increase in the number of individuals who have pre-diabetes and are the cusp of developing the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in early childhood or adolescence though it can be seen in adults as well. The condition occurs when the body does not make insulin. About 10 percent of those with diabetes are diagnosed with type 1. The more common type of diabetes, type 2, accounts for nearly 90 percent of newly diagnosed cases. With type 2, the body usually makes an insufficient amount of insulin or the insulin does not work the way it should.

For many decades, type 2 diabetes was considered an older adult disease. However, in the past decade, we have seen a concerning spike in the number of young children and adolescents being diagnosed with type 2 as well as an increase in adult cases. Type 2 diabetes is triggered by a combination of factors. In general, those at an increased risk often have a family history of diabetes, are 45 years and older, overweight or obese, have had gestational diabetes, belong to high-risk ethnic group and are physically inactive. While some factors, like family history and race, cannot be controlled, lifestyle factors such as weight, diet and activity can be controlled.

Do you know your risks? Take the test today at Those at an increased risk should have a yearly screening. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms: frequent thirst, constant urination, unusual hunger, rapid weight loss and/or obvious weakness or fatigue, it is important to consult with a physician.

It is imperative that the person with diabetes has a clear understanding of both the short and long-term goals in order to control their diabetes and prevent long-term complications. We work closely with our local Portneuf Diabetes Educators and when necessary, we refer to and consult with Portneuf specialists including cardiologists and nephrologists. For some patients with advanced diabetes ulcers and complications, we work closely with our wound care clinic.

Portneuf Primary Care’s knowledgeable staff is here if you need us. To reach my office to schedule an appointment, call 208-239-3815.

Dr. Luis M. Fernandez is board certified in family medicine. He graduated from Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medicas, Cuba and completed residency training at Idaho State University Family Medicine. Portneuf Primary Care is currently taking new patients.

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