May 24, 2018

MedStar Shares Facts About Diabetes


Diabetes has become a serious health issue in the US. Health Connections, supported by MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, reports that 29.1 million Americans have the disease. Eight million people have it and don’t know it. About 86 million people are pre-diabetic, which means they have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis.

The MedStar Diabetes Institute at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital offers an education program that has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association, providing information and resources needed to take control of this disease.

MedStar has issued several facts that can help residents understand the condition. It is possible to stop the numbers from rising, and even reverse the trend.

Learn these facts and share they with others.

Are these statements true or false?

I need to get tested for diabetes by my primary care provider, even if I have no known risk factors for the disease.


Tina Leap, RN, CDE, CPT, is the diabetes educator at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. She said that the American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone should be screened at three-year intervals beginning at age 45, especially people who are overweight or obese. “If other risk factors are present, screening should be done earlier and more often,” said Ms. Leap.

If my lab blood tests say I am pre-diabetic, I will eventually have diabetes.


“Lifestyle changes are powerful,” Ms. Leap said. “Exercising … 150 minutes per week and eating more nutrient dense, lower calorie foods and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks can help drastically reduce your chances of developing diabetes. If you are overweight, try to lose 7 percent of your body weight at a sensible, healthy rate.”

Diabetics are at higher risk of serious health conditions.


“Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke and can be attributed to many other health conditions, including blindness, so it’s important to stay out in front of it by getting checked early,” Ms. Leap said.

Patients need a referral from their physician when scheduling an appointment with a diabetes educator in Health Connections. Call Health Connections for more information at 301-475-6019.

For more information and one-click access to a full list of resources available at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, visit their Leader Page.

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