Master Builder

Spring 2022

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Understanding Diabetes and Its Risk Factors BY REGENCE BLUESHIELD This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician before starting an exercise program or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. A ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million people in the U.S.—10 percent of the population—have diabetes. People with diabetes are unable to manage how much glucose—the main source of energy for the cells in our bodies—is in their bloodstream. A hormone called insulin controls glucose, and people who have diabetes often require insulin injections to help maintain healthy glucose levels. Types of Diabetes There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition usually diagnosed in children in which a person's pancreas doesn't make enough insulin. Gestational diabetes develops in some pregnant women. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common, representing about 90 percent of people with the condition. Type 2, primarily diagnosed in adults, is both preventable and sometimes reversible through weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet. Over the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled, and it's now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke and are more likely to have serious complications from COVID-19. How to Prevent Diabetes Type 2 diabetes sneaks up on us, developing over many years. The symptoms are often unnoticeable: one in five people with diabetes don't know they have it. The known risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include: • Being overweight • Lack of physical activity • Age (45 or older) • Genetics (e.g., having a close relative with Type 2 diabetes) It is never too late—or too early—to begin improving your health. Help manage risk and talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. Regence members also have access to resources for managing and preventing diabetes—more information is available at regence.com, and members can also call customer service for help. Type 2 diabetes, primarily diagnosed in adults, is both preventable and sometimes reversible through weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet. To learn more, visit mbahealthtrust.com or call 425.641.8093. 45 SPRING 2022 | master BUILDER MEMBERSHIP VALUE

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