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10-25-11

Diabetes

Diabetes is the sixth deadliest disease in the United States, but it can be managed with diet, exercise and medication.

Approximately 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes -- a chronic disease in which a person’s body does not produce or properly process sugar.   Left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, and a number of life-threatening medical complications.   Dr. Michael Jakoby, associate professor and chief of endocrinology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, describes Type 2 diabetes.

SOUND BITE:    “In Type 2 diabetes, individuals are unusually resistant to the affects of insulin and over time their insulin producing capacity falls off to the point that they can’t compensate for their insulin producing resistance and that in turn causes high blood sugars.  Individuals with Type 2 diabetes continue to make insulin throughout their lives, though they don’t make enough to keep their blood sugars normal.”

Dr. Jakoby says the frequency of Type 2 diabetes is increasing in the U.S. and around the world because of the increase in obesity, especially among young people.  Other risk factors are a family history for the disease, weight gain, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.  Dr. Jakoby suggests some treatments to control blood sugar.

SOUND BITE:    “For Type 2 diabetes, there are multiple oral medications that can help control blood sugar.  Some medications can increase the release of insulin from the pancreas.  Others make the body respond to blood sugar that way.  Finally, insulin is also frequently used in the management of Type 2 diabetes.”

Dr. Jakoby says that a healthy diet and moderate exercise will help control or even prevent the disease.  And newer technology helps make disease management easier.  He advises anyone who has one or more of the risk factors to see their personal physician so they can be checked for diabetes.

This is Ruth Slottag, SIU School of Medicine, in Springfield.