Public Health gets to reality of diabetes, prediabetes

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Most people diagnosed with diabetes for any length of time feel that they are fully educated about the disease and can quote a list of dos and don’ts.  But how do we get beyond that head knowledge to real-life practice of diabetes management?

Dallas County Public Health has been awarded a State Innovation Model (SIM) grant that is addressing this question.  The grant is supporting efforts to apply research knowledge of diabetes into practical, real-life options for residents of central Iowa.

Recently, in addition to various professionals in the field of health care, community members have been added to the SIM coalition to assure their work is grounded in the reality of those living with chronic diseases.

Diabetes self-management includes halting the progression of the disease as well as efforts to prevent the onset of diabetes.  Prediabetes afflicts about one-third of adults in Iowa, but most people don’t even realize it.

Prediabetes is not a disease but rather a stage that is a stepping stone into full-blown diabetes.  The biggest risk factors are obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.  The American Diabetes Association offers a test on their website that assesses your risk for prediabetes.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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