Medical expert says everyone should know risk factors of diabetes

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:35 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:51 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - November is National Diabetes Month and Tuesday, Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day!

The month is a time for experts and communities to bring awareness to the chronic disease. Research shows 1 in 10 adults worldwide has diabetes, with over 90% having type 2.

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 - Caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops the body from making insulin. It can be diagnosed at any age and is not preventable
  • Type 2 - When the body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar levels balanced. It is developed over many years and can be prevented by losing weight, eating healthy and being active.
  • Gestational - Develops in pregnant women and usually does away after birth. It increases likelihood for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Dr. Emily Weidman-Evans with LSU Health Shreveport says you should take special care of your body whether you have diabetes or not.

“As far as what people need to know, whether they’re at risk for diabetes, whether they want to prevent it later or if they have the diagnosis, is to know there are certain foods that can affect your diabetes. Know what those are, know how much activity to get, and then there’s some other things that we talk about in diabetes education that are kind of more general, things like quitting smoking of course.”

She says prevention, early diagnosis and timely treatment are key to treatment of type 2 diabetes.

“We need to do a better job of communicating so many things about diabetes, starting with how it comes about. You don’t get diabetes from eating too many sweets. Similarly though I hear a lot of people talk about, ‘Everybody in my family has diabetes. That means I’m definitely gonna get it.’ And that’s not the way it works either. A lot of that kind of background information, I feel like we need to do a better job of helping.”