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Diabetes Prevention

For diabetes, prevention takes place through both patient education and patient care. Such efforts should seek to:

  • prevent the disease among patients at risk;
  • and prevent or reverse the effects of the disease among patients diagnosed with diabetes.

Patients must take charge of their health for prevention to work. Preventive steps focus on many factors, including:

  • helping individuals understand their risk;
  • assisting individuals in lowering their risk;
  • managing diabetes in a way that keeps patients from needing care in the Emergency Room or from specialists;
  • motivating patients to get exercise and start eating right;
  • committing patients to getting the  three annual tests recommended* for individuals with diabetes;
  • and urging patients to take advantage of periodic consultation with a dietician.

A good prevention program will work intensely with the pre-diabetes patient, with the diabetic patient who remains unsymptomatic, and with the individual whose diabetes is causing or contributing to other conditions.  Finding a good primary physician or diabetes specialist is the best preventive start for all patients.

the Virtua Diabetes Education Program
Virtua offers a diabetes-education program, open to all. Participating in the program can be extremely helpful for patients, and Virtua urges individuals who have diabetes, or who are at high risk for diabetes, to enroll. This effective, well-designed series looks at managing diabetes, and seeks to simplify and explain this widespread health challenge.*Yearly  exams : the essential three
Healthcare providers urge all persons with diabetes to undergo these screenings at least once per year:

  • blood test to check average blood-sugar level;
  • a dilated eye exam;
  • and a foot exam.

The blood test helps to determine the severity of diabetes and the need for medication. The eye examination looks for capillary damage in the retina that can lead to blindness. And the foot exam is a check for blood-vessel and nerve damage that can cause chronic wounds that can lead to amputation. In 2009, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that only one-third of people with diabetes receive all three of these tests annually.

Learn more about insulin resistance, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.

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