Northern California Medical Associate’s New NCMA Diabetes Center Takes a Look at Diabetes for National Diabetes Month

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Dr. Yuichiro D. Nakai and the NCMA Diabetes Center team provide an overview of diabetes and explain why it is important to get diagnosed early: to prevent complications and for better symptom management.

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Good diabetes management can greatly reduce the risks for diabetes complications.

According to the most recent statistics from the California Department of Public Health, one out of 12 adults - that’s more than 2.3 million Californians - have already been diagnosed with diabetes. Most adult diabetics are type 2, representing 1.9 million adults, and one out of every six adult Californians aged 65 and older have this type of diabetes. It is well known that diabetes exacerbates heart disease and stroke, making it the underlying cause of death for about 8,000 people annually. It is also ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in California.

“Diabetes is a serious health condition,” explains Dr. Yuichiro D. Nakai, Chief Endocrinologist and NCMA Diabetes Center Medical Director. “It can increase a patient’s risk for heart disease and stroke, and if diabetes is not managed properly it can lead to substantial disability including kidney failure, blindness and amputations.” The NCMA Diabetes Center offers comprehensive adult diabetes care for type I and II diabetes, as well as diabetes stemming from pancreatic insufficiency, with the goal of improving diabetes management and minimizing diabetes complications through a multidisciplinary approach.

What’s Your Type?

There are three basic levels of diabetes; prediabetes, type 1 and type 2.

In most circumstances, before type 2 diabetes manifests, a condition called "prediabetes" may be diagnosed, if symptoms are caught early. This is a situation where the blood glucose levels are elevated, or higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts the patient at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and, eventually, cardiovascular disease. But for some people diagnosed with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and a variety of factors that trigger the onset of the disease, whereas type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics combined with unhealthy lifestyle factors, including:

  • Being overweight
  • A diet high in calories from any source
  • Frequent consumption of sugary drinks

In most cases, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. While many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications, over time the body’s natural production of insulin tends to decline, and eventually insulin may be required to get blood glucose levels back to a healthy level.

Good News About Diabetes

The progression from prediabetes to full blown diabetes is not a given. A study conducted by The National Institutes of Health found that for people with prediabetes, even modest lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58 percent in individuals in the high risk category.

“Diabetes may the primary factor in more deaths each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, but having diabetes doesn’t mean a person can’t lead a normal life,” explains senior diabetes educator Jennifer Logan R.D., C.D.E. “Good diabetes management can greatly reduce the risks for diabetes complications.”

About NCMA Diabetes Center

The NCMA Diabetes Center is under the leadership of Chief Endocrinologist and Diabetes Center Medical Director Yuichiro D. Nakai, M.D. and offers a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment with diabetic nurse specialist Naya Barretto, FNP-BC, MPH, RN and Jennifer Logan, R.D., C.D.E.

Recognizing that education is the key to prevention as well as proper management of diabetes, NCMA Diabetes Center offers workshops to cover all aspects of diabetes care including diabetic weight management, nutrition, safe exercise for diabetics, glucose meter use, insulin use, carbohydrate exchanges/ carbohydrate counting. One-on-one patient diabetes education and nutritional visits are also offered.

To learn more, visit our website or call 707-578-7530 to schedule an appointment.

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John Beilharz
@NCMAHealth
since: 01/2013
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Northern California Medical Associates
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