Nearly 30 million Americans – 9.3 percent of the population – have diabetes. Another 86 million have prediabetes. To address that level of potential risk in northwest Montana, Kalispell Regional Healthcare's Diabetes Education & Prevention program specializes in self-management, education and lifestyle coaching, empowering individuals to take control of diabetes or, if at risk, to prevent diabetes.
Diagnosing and Preventing Diabetes
When a person has diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin correctly. Diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood glucose is higher than 125 mg/dL, random blood glucose is higher than 199 mg/dL or hemoglobin A1c is higher than 6.4 percent. Once diagnosed with diabetes, the risk for developing diabetes-related complications, such as heart, kidney, eye and nerve diseases, increases significantly if blood glucose levels remain elevated.
Before a person is diagnosed with diabetes, blood glucose levels are elevated for months or even years. Prediabetes is diagnosed with a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL, a random glucose of 140-199 mg/dL or a hemoglobin A1c of 5.7-6.4 percent. At these levels of blood glucose exposure, blood vessels start to become damaged and the long-term complications of diabetes may begin to develop.
It is important for every individual to know their blood glucose levels because diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and increased activity.
Working Together to Manage and Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes Education & Prevention at Kalispell Regional Healthcare brings together certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians and registered nurses who work together to help people with diabetes manage the disease and to help those at risk prevent diabetes.
If you want to learn more about diabetes or diabetes prevention, seek expert care in diabetes management or find support in your diabetes journey, please contact us.
Diabetes Prevention Program Referral
Medical Nutrition Therapy Referral