American Indians are twice as likely to have diagnosed type 2 diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites. Diabetes is too much glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. Glucose is used as energy by your body in your muscles and tissue. Insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas, moves glucose from your blood to your muscles and tissues. When you have diabetes, this process breaks down and your blood sugar levels become too high.
People with diabetes can experience devastating complications including heart disease and stroke, blindness, chronic kidney disease and amputations. But people with diabetes, working with their support network and health care providers, can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications and premature death.
Many people do not know they have diabetes because in the early stages there are no symptoms, or the symptoms develop so slowly they do not notice them. Here’s what to look for:
- Very thirsty
- Blurred vision
- Tingling in hands or feet
- Urinating more
- Weight loss
- Frequent infections
- Red, swollen or tender gums
Take your body’s hints seriously. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. You should be checked for diabetes at least every three years.
PTHA’s Diabetes Program
Managing your diabetes means taking care of the whole person. The PTHA Diabetes Program offers a variety of services to provide a basis for good health.
- Nursing Consultation
- Nutrition Education
- Tobacco Cessation
- Fitness Education
- Community Education Classes
- Dental Care
- Podiatry Services
- Teleophthalmology Screening
- Blood Glucose Meters
- Depression Screening
If you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay it. Stay at a healthy weight, eat well and be active. Choose a healthy pathway for generations to follow.
The PTHA Diabetes Team is available to answer questions and provide the support you need to live a long, healthy life. It’s your health – Take Charge!
American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes
Indian Health Service: http://www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/index.asp
We are not responsible for the content of these web sites, nor do we endorse any of these organizations.