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November is Diabetes Month: What is Prediabetes and How Can You Manage It?

healthy fruit and vegetables in heart shaped bowl diabetes awareness month

November is National Diabetes Month. The Thorek Memorial Hospital Diabetes Education & Wellness Center is here to support you in any way we can.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which a person’s body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is essential in converting sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Today, there are over 20 million people living with diabetes in the United States. While the cause of diabetes continues to remain unknown, we do know that genetics and lifestyle factors can play an important role. Being overweight, of Hispanic or Native American descent, or the child of a parent with diabetes, are all factors that could increase your likelihood of becoming diabetic.

The good news is that diabetes is a very treatable and manageable disease. With the right education and support, your chance of experiencing health complications that come from diabetes – such as blindness, kidney failure, or amputation – can be greatly reduced.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a serious health condition that puts you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes affects more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults—that’s 88 million people—but most people don’t know they have it. The good news is that by making healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage or reverse prediabetes and prevent it from turning into type 2 diabetes.

How to Manage Prediabetes?

Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. Start small with these steps:

  • At least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Pick foods high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
  • You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7% of your starting weight.
  • Seek regular support from a trusted doctor.

Thorek Memorial Hospital Diabetes Education & Wellness Center

Our goal at the Thorek Memorial Chicago Hospital Diabetes Education & Wellness Center is to empower people living with diabetes, through education and support, to take an active role in their own health and well-being. We understand that knowledge is essential when it comes to diabetes management, and that in many cases, success is directly affected by the amount of support a person living with diabetes receives. Because we know that a patient’s knowledge of their condition is truly the key for successful diabetes treatment, we offer a wide array of services and education to help those who come to our center live a full, healthy and active life.

Patients will work closely with a registered nurse, who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator, to develop a personalized education and treatment plan. This plan can include:

  • Blood glucose meter instruction
  • Development of individualized meal plan/medical nutrition therapy
  • Personal goal setting and problem solving
  • Insulin instruction
  • Insulin pump therapy
  • Referrals and linkage of individuals to a primary care provider, podiatrist or a licensed professional counselor as needed
  • The Diabetes Education & Wellness Center also offers patients individual and group classes.

How Do You Know if You Are At High Risk For Diabetes?

To find out if you are at high risk for diabetes, take our short quiz here.

The more boxes you checked, the higher your risk may be for diabetes.  Early detection and treatment can decrease your risk of complications.  

Call the Diabetes Education and Wellness Center at Thorek to discuss your options with one of our staff today, 773-975-6814 (English), 773-975-1156 (Spanish).