Free Diabetes Support Group

2nd Thursday of each month
12pm - 1pm

Diabetes Support Group

Located in the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Main Conference Room.
For more Information, please call
(517) 663-9453

What You Need to Know about Diabetes

Written by: Leslie Neubecker (Registered Dietitian)

What is Diabetes?

When we eat, some of the food is broken down into glucose (sugar). Glucose travels in the blood to the body’s cells. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the glucose move into the cells. Glucose helps the cells produce energy for healthy living. With diabetes, the body doesn’t make any insulin, enough insulin, or the insulin doesn’t work right. So, the glucose continues traveling in the blood and over time can cause complications like heart and blood vessel problems, eye, kidney and nerve disease, teeth, gum and skin infections, and problems with the legs and feet.

Types of Diabetes:

The 2 most common types are Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 - The pancreas, which makes insulin, is not functioning properly. The cells that produce insulin are damaged or destroyed, so the body makes little or no insulin. This type of diabetes occurs usually in children or young adults.

Type 2 - The body makes some insulin, but not enough, or the insulin simply doesn’t work. This type of diabetes is more common in overweight older adults, but is becoming increasingly more common in children and young adults.

What Causes Diabetes?

Scientists do not know what causes diabetes specifically, but believe that one possible cause is a missed gene that protects against diabetes. We do know that certain risk factors increase the chance of getting diabetes. Those risk factors are:

  • Having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • Being African-American, Hispanic, or Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander
  • Age 45 years or older (age 30 & older for above ethnic groups)
  • Being Overweight
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Having high blood pressure
  • High triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol
  • Prior gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Having a baby that weighed 9 pounds or more at birth

If you have any of the above risk factors you can take action now to prevent or delay diabetes and its complications.

Can Diabetes be prevented?

People who are active on most days and have a healthy body weight can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 70%! Start decreasing your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by:

  • Increase physical activity: Work up to at least 30-60 minutes, 5 days a week.
  • Eat healthy: Eat 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits each day, choose whole grains, decrease fats and sweets, choose low-fat meats and low-fat dairy products.
  • Losing weight: 5-15 pound weight loss can help if you are already overweight.
  • Treat high blood pressure: Limit salt to 2000mg daily, take medication if prescribed
  • Treat high cholesterol: Limit fat intake, increase exercise, take medication if prescribed
  • Manage stress: Find ways to relax, exercise, eliminate unnecessary stress
  • Get enough sleep: Most people need 7-9 hours
  • Quit Smoking: Keep on quitting until you are tobacco-free

Want More Information?

Eaton Rapids Medical Center offers a free Diabetes Support Group the second Thursday of the month at 12:00pm to 1:00pm in the lower level conference room. Please join us and increase your knowledge about how to control the disease with updated information and receive and offer support to others with diabetes.

For more information, contact Nutrition Services at (517) 663-9453