Creating Awareness of Diabetes Through 'Diabetes Awareness Week' - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

'Diabetes Awareness Week' Draws Attention to Disease & Prevention Measures

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WAKE UP NORTHWEST - Diabetes can strike anyone and it's likely you know someone affected by the disease. This week, we're working to raise awareness of the disease in our area.

In the last decade, the cases of people living with the disease has nearly doubled to more than 29 million Americans, according to the Diabetes Research Institute. 

So what is diabetes? What it comes down to is a disease that affects how the body handles glucose or sugars. 

The most severe form of diabetes is type 1. It can develop at any time but usually develops in kids and teens.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, family history and weight are some of the main causes.

Jennifer Hilmes, Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator at Cornerstone Clinic says lifestyle plays a key role when it comes to preventing type 2.

"Getting to a healthy weight, maintaining that healthy weight and thinking about food as healthy fuel for your body and being physically active," said Hilmes. 

Hilmes adds certain groups are at a higher risk, including those of Native American, Hispanic/Latino and African American descent

A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which women can develop during pregnancy but usually it goes away on it's own after pregnancy. 

If you're interested in learning about Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Management Program, click HERE

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