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Costly Diagnosis: Diabetes: April 23, 2011

Another day. Another diagnosis. Whether it's a new class or another face, the diabetes seminars around Lee County continue to grow. "Our patients, I believe, learn a great deal from the classroom environment. Learn from each other. Groups of people have different ideas, ask great questions, and its fun," says Lee Memorial Health System diabetes outpatient coordinator, Sharon Tilbe.

But dealing with the diagnosis is another story. "Its all up to your involvement with your own health care, your involvement in your self-care, paying attention to details, watching your diet, getting some regular physical activity, taking your mediations as prescribed, checking your blood sugar, keeping an eye on it," adds Tilbe.

For some, diabetes is inherited. For others, it's developed through poor lifestyle habits. Tilbe challenges everyone to find time to exercise and eat right. "When we talk about, 'We don't have time to do this. We don't have time to do that', developing diabetes takes time!" says Tilbe. "Once we develop the condition of diabetes, than we are going to be spending more money on healthcare, we're going to be checking our blood sugar levels. We darn well better pay more attention to diet and exercise!"

This goes for kids, too. There's been an increase in pediatric type 2 diabetes classes and it's predicted to get worse. Tilbe advises families to broach the subject with their family physician to avoid this life threatening and costly diagnosis.