Earlier this year, The North Country Healthy Heart Network, in partnership with the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, launched the “Do I Have Prediabetes” campaign.
The objective of this campaign was to encourage people to take a risk test to determine if they should talk to their doctor about prediabetes. The campaign raised awareness via social media and trailers placed in movie theaters encouraging people to take the prediabetes risk text. Though the movies closed do to COVID-19, the North Country Disease Prevention Coalition is proud to announce that the campaign is back on social and digital platforms.
Prediabetes is when a person’s blood glucose, or sugar level is higher than average- however not so high that it would result in type 2 diabetes. If prediabetes goes untreated, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. Early treatment can often reverse the diagnosis, especially when it includes managing weight, exercise and movement, quitting smoking and healthy eating. Currently one in three American adults has prediabetes, but initial analytics from the Do I Have Prediabetes campaign are promising. Traffic to doihaveprediabetes.org has increased and more people are actively taking the test. To learn more about prediabetes campaign, or find more chronic disease prevention resources in our region, email email@example.com or visit www.heartnetwork.org.
An instructor once told us, “Diabetes is like a freight train. When it isn’t moving, you can push it either direction. Once it starts moving slowly, you MAY be able to stop it. As it picks up speed, it becomes almost impossible to stop.” Pre-diabetes is the initial movement of the train. As the train picks up speed, damage from chronic high blood glucose spreads throughout most organ systems throughout the body – especially eyes, kidneys, heart, and nervous system – and most of it is irreversible. All effect quality and length of life.
This is but one reason why good, universal healthcare is important in controlling the diabetes epidemic. If you wait until you are seriously diabetic to try to control it (as in someone with poor or no insurance), it is often usually too late. I have struggled with Type 2 diabetes for 25 years and have been on an insulin pump the last 10 years and have very little, if any measurable systemic damage because I have been lucky enough throughout most of my life to have decent insurance. The pump keeps my blood glucose levels nearly normal. But only the very rich and those with good insurance can afford a pump ($6-10k) and the insulin and all supplies (~$20k annually). So far I have been lucky. Others are not so fortunate and often suffer vision loss, amputation, stroke, and heart disease – all of which can cost much more than early treatment. Private insurance may pick up part of the bill and taxpayers eventually pay the remainder. This is not a good outcome for anyone.