Pennsylvania NEWS

Wolf Administration Encourages Diabetes Awareness and Education

The Wolf Administration is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes and the ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease by practicing a healthy lifestyle and regularly seeing a primary care provider. 
“Diabetes is a chronic disease in which blood sugar levels are above normal,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Diabetes must be managed effectively; if not, this disease can lead to a number of serious health conditions, including adult blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. Diagnosed diabetes costs an estimated $12.9 billion in Pennsylvania each year.

Nearly 11 percent of adults in Pennsylvania have diabetes, and a significant number of those are not aware of it, which greatly increases their health risk. One in three adults has prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. This means that almost half of all Pennsylvanians either have diabetes or are at significant risk of developing diabetes. Individuals with diabetes are encouraged to talk to their primary care physician about participating in a diabetes self-management education and support program to learn how to better manage their disease.

People can develop diabetes because the pancreas produces little or no insulin, or because insulin is not used properly. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a disease of the immune system, and typically starts out during the childhood and young adult years. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease in adults. Type 2 diabetes typically begins when insulin is not used properly. Over time, the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin. Managing type 2 diabetes requires maintaining a healthy weight; making healthy food choices and getting regular physical activity are essential.

Learn more or visit Quality Insights' Everyone with Diabetes Counts class listing page to find free diabetes self-management classes near you.