Weld County Public Health brings attention to diabetes

Published on November 01, 2022

Young man checks his blood sugar

Weld County, Colorado — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 96 million Americans now have prediabetes — that is 1 out of 3 adults. Of those 96 million, 8 out of 10 of them don't even know they have it. Without acting, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. In Weld County, 11.4% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes, which is up from 10.1% in 2019.

Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. In addition to type 2 diabetes — the most common form of diabetes — prediabetes can lead to heart disease and stroke.

With type 2 diabetes, your body cannot properly use insulin, a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells. You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, but you are at higher risk if you are older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are not physically active, or are a woman who had gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that some women get when they are pregnant. Even if a woman's blood sugar levels go down after her baby is born, she is at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

With type 1 diabetes, your body cannot make insulin, so you need to take insulin every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes; about 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed.

By making small, healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible, however, to prevent type 2 diabetes and even reverse prediabetes. Working with health care professionals who can offer personal care may help improve health if you are at risk of developing diabetes.

To learn more about diabetes and prediabetes, go to the CDC's diabetes website.