Endocrinologist Focuses on Diabetes at Talk
July 19, 2011
On June 22, 2011, Beaver Medical Group, along with Inter Valley Health Plan hosted a free educational event called "Focus on Diabetes" in Yucaipa. The event featured two speakers: Janet Knight, RN from Health Education who spoke about nutrition and label reading, and Dr. Victor Perkel, Endocrinologist who gave an interesting talk about diabetes.
In addition to the speakers, educational materials as well as free screenings were provided at the event. Attendees had their blood pressure and glucose checked. Patty MacKenzie, RN from Health Education, provided foot checks since Diabetics are prone to wounds that don't heal well, especially on their feet.
Dr. Perkel was a dynamic speaker and provided interesting statistics about diabetes. There are 25.8 million children and adults (8.3% of the population) in the United States living with diabetes. Of that 25.8 million, 7 million do not know they have it and an additional 79 million people are pre-diabetic. Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem harmless or can be assumed to have other causes.
Early detection and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. "You have to attack both sides of the equation, if we catch it early, we can reverse it ... we have to work on diet and we have to work on exercise. Yes, a magic pill can help you, but diet and exercise will help you more," said Dr. Perkel who cited recent studies with twice as many pre-diabetics preventing diabetes through diet and exercise compared to those taking medication.
Dr. Perkel discussed the various causes of diabetes as well as prevention and treatment of the disease. While all ages and races are affected, certain people are more likely to develop type 2 Diabetes. He cited, "Native Americans between the ages of 45-75 have a one in two chance on becoming diabetic."
"You can actually map the rise in diabetes coupled with the rise in obesity. If you can get your weight down 10% you will see a great improvement." It was encouraging to hear that a small change could help enormously. He added that everyone should aim for the diet and exercise plans for diabetics for health; diabetics have just had their wake-up call.
Beaver Medical Group's Health Education Department offers free diabetes and prediabetes classes.