These past three days I have my time at the West Virginia Diabetes Symposium that was held in Morgantown, WV at the Waterfront Place Hotel. This is an annual event that has been in existence for the past 13 years. This year the conference was entitled “Bridging the Gap with Education.” This conference is attended by physicians, physician assistants, dietitians, nurses, and various other health professionals alike.
On the first day of the conference I attended two sessions:
- “Diabetes Prevention in the Real World: The Group Lifestyle Balance Program” – Kaye Kramer, RN, DrPH, CCRC
- “Role of Physical Activity in Diabetes” – Andrea Kriska, PhD
West Virginia has a fairly poor standing when it comes to national health measures. Below are a few statistics to give you a mental representation of the issues this state is facing:
- 32.4% of the WV adults are obese = 3rd highest in the nation
- 35.1% of WV adults participate in no leisure-time physical activity or exercise
- 12% of WV adults have diabetes = 4th highest in the nation
- 12.3% of WV adults have cardiovascular (heart) disease = 1st highest in the nation
As you can see, West Virginia has a multitude of issues that stem from the high obesity rates in the state.
Are familiar with diabetes? If not, here are few things you should know about diabetes:
- There are a two main types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2.
- Type 1 Diabetes only accounts for about 5% of all diabetes cases. It is typically diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. With Type 1, your body does not produce any insulin.
- Type 2 Diabetes accounts for the remaining 95% of all diabetes cases. It can be diagnosed at any time in life. With Type 2, your body produces insulin but your body does not respond to it like it should – this is called insulin resistance.
The lab criteria is the same for any type of diabetes in order to be diagnosed you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Symptoms of diabetes AND casual plasma glucose of 200mg/dl or above
- Fasting plasma glucose of 126mg/dl or above
- 2-hr plasma glucose of 200mg/dl or above during an oral glucose tolerance test
- Hemoglobin A1c greater than or equal to 6.5%
Exercise can be a huge contributor to overall health! Remember exercise can be any form of physical activity that gets your body moving. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on:
- Coronary heart disease (CVD)
- Cancer (certain types…e.g. colon and breast cancer)
- Gallbladder disease
- Bone health
- Mental health
- Quality of Life/Independence
- Weight management
While diet will contribute more directly and quicker to one’s weight – it has been stated that one of the greatest predictors of who will keep the weight they lost from coming back is… EXERCISE!
One the second and third day of the conference, I attended the following sessions:
- “Diabetic Retinopathy” – Muge Kesen, MD
- “Type 2 Diabetes: A Cardiovascular Disease” – Joel Zonszein, MD, CDE, FACE, FACP
- “Roles and Strategies of Diabetes Support Group Facilitators” – Joanne Costello, PhD, MPH, RN
- “How to Identify Type 1 versus Type 2 Diabetes, and is There Such a Thing as Type 1.5?” – Brian Ely, MD
- “Pharmacological Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Highlighting the Benefits and Limitations of Each Treatment” – Angel Kimble, PharmD, BCPS
- “Developing Cultural Competence in Health Care Providers” – Pedro (Joe) Greer, Jr., MD, FACP, FACG
– American Diabetes Association, http://www.diabetes.org
– West Virginia Diabetes Symposium & Workshop, http://dsw.ext.wvu.edu/