Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

quick tip mercy

What’s the best way to prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes?

Working towards achieving a healthy body weight through diet and regular exercise, particularly a diet low in carbohydrates. Your healthcare provider may recommend a consultation with a certified diabetic educator to bananadiscuss this type of diet. “Crash” or “fad” diets will likely NOT set you up for long-term success. Staying active is also key. Look for realistic ways to implement physical activity that you enjoy and work with your lifestyle.

For example, if you’re a busy mom who spends lots of time at the ball field, make a commitment to walk briskly around the outside of the field between innings. Also be sure to pack a cooler of healthy snacks so you don’t find yourself snacking on ballpark food. There are some medications that are appropriate in pre-diabetes that your healthcare provider may recommend.

For more info on the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as well as the latest treatments, click HERE.

Healthy Mama: Focus on Diabetes

diabetes word cloud2A diabetes diagnosis can turn a family’s life upside down. We interviewed Kayla Crow, a nurse practitioner with the Mercy Endocrinology Clinic, to learn more about pre-diabetes, the big differences between Type 1 and Type 2, common misconceptions, as well as the latest advancements in the treatment of diabetes.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes yet. The pancreas is having a hard time producing enough insulin to keep the blood glucose in normal range. Taking action at the time pre-diabetes is diagnosed can help prevent the progression to Type 2 diabetes.

Who should be tested for it?

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening for adults ages 40-70 who are overweight or obese. People with a family history of diabetes, a personal history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian diabetes-777002_640syndrome, and those of certain ethnic groups (Hispanic, African American, Native American, Pacific Islander) may be at an increased risk of diabetes at a younger age or lower body mass and their healthcare provider may consider earlier screening. Pre-diabetes can be diagnosed with a fasting glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or HemoglobinA1c of 5.7-6.4%. Anything 6.5% or higher is considered diabetes.

What’s the best way to prevent the progression to Type 2 diabetes?

Working towards achieving a healthy body weight through diet and regular exercise, particularly a diet low in carbohydrates. Your healthcare provider may recommend a consultation with a certified diabetic educator to discuss this type of diet. “Crash” or “fad” diets will likely NOT set you up for long-term success. Staying active is also key. Look for realistic ways to implement physical activity that you enjoy and work with your lifestyle. For example, if you’re a busy mom who spends lots of time at the ball field, make a commitment to walk briskly around the outside of the field between innings. Also be sure to pack a cooler of healthy snacks so you don’t find yourself snacking on ballpark food. There are some medications that are appropriate in pre-diabetes that your healthcare provider may recommend.

What are some of the major differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

While they may seem similar, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are two completely different processes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by autoimmune destruction of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and the onset is typically in childhood or early adulthood. Those with Type 1 diabetes will always require treatment with insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops over time after years of increased workload on the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Medications along with weight loss, a low carb diet, and physical activity can help stave off the progression of Type 2 diabetes. These medications are not appropriate for those with Type 1 diabetes. While maintaining a healthy body weight and active lifestyle are important for those with Type 1 diabetes, neither has contributed to the development of the disease.

How is someone with gestational diabetes treated differently?

The treatment for gestational diabetes is dependent upon how high blood glucoses actually are. Many patients can be managed with diet alone, but some will require treatment with medications or insulin during their pregnancy. Those with gestational diabetes should work closely with their healthcare provider to determine the best treatment options as many medications are contraindicated in pregnancy.

candy2What are some misconceptions about Type 1 diabetes?

- “Eating too many sweets caused the diabetes.” As mentioned previously, this is more so the case for Type 2 diabetes, but is not so in Type 1.

- “Only kids get Type 1 diabetes.”  Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed in adulthood, which is why Type 1 diabetes is no longer referred to as “juvenile-onset.”

- “Diabetes is reversible.” Again, while this may be true for type 2 diabetes, it is not so for those with type 1.

- “People with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t play sports.”  Those with Type 1 diabetes have the ability to take part in the same activities others do. They will just require an extra degree of preparation and awareness.

What are some good local resources (or online) for children with Type 1 diabetes? Type 2?

Children with Type 1: Northwest Arkansas branch of JDRF (Click here to visit the website.)

Type 2 diabetes: American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org

Here’s an amazing story about some of the exciting medical advances on the horizon for Type 1 diabetes:  Click here to watch a video about Lauren Sivewright, a Fayetteville woman who is one of only 10 people in the world who have been given an opportunity to test the effectiveness of a new artificial pancreas, which could transform the treatment for Type 1 diabetes.

For more information about Kayla Crow, APRN and the Mercy Endocrinology Clinic, click HERE to visit the website. Kayla’s office is located at 3333 Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Suite 30B, in Rogers, Ark. The phone number is 479-338-4600.

MERCY2

Today is National Doctors Day!

Did you know that today is National Doctor’s Day?

MERCY2If your doctor or pediatrician takes great care of you and your family, take a minute to send him or her a quick note to express your thanks or post a sincere shout-out on social media. We want to say a big THANK YOU to the doctors at Mercy who answer our interview questions for the monthly health articles we publish here on nwaMotherlode.com. We appreciate your time and expertise, doctors! Thank you!

If you’re looking for a new doctor or specialist, remember that Mercy offers a free online doctor-finder service. Click HERE to check it out.

Happy National Doctor’s Day!

national doctors day 2016

Matters of the heart: valve disease, aortic aneurysm and crucial tests

heart-care-1040229_640Dr. Anton CherneyFebruary isn’t just about hearts and roses. It’s also about hearts at risk. Because February is designated as American Heart Month, we’ve interviewed a leading Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon at Mercy, Dr. Anton Cherney, to ask questions about three critical issues related to heart health — heart valve disease, aortic aneurysms and the most important tests you can get to make sure your heart is healthy.

What is heart valve disease? What do valves in the heart do and how many are there?

heart valvesThe heart valves are crucial to the function of the heart. They open and close as the heart contracts, making sure the blood is flowing in the right direction. There are four valves in the heart: Aortic, Mitral, Pulmonary, and Tricuspid. Heart valves become diseased when they do not open fully and create resistance to blood flow. Sometimes diseased heart valves don’t close completely, allowing blood to leak back into the heart chambers.

What kinds of problems cause heart valves to malfunction?

Most of valve malfunction comes from normal wear and tear that happens as we age. Rarely, valves become infected or affected by rheumatic disease.

How are heart valve problems diagnosed? Are there usually symptoms?

If the valve disease gets bad enough, a person can experience symptoms of heart failure, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and leg swelling. There are multiple tests to look at heart valves, but the most commonly used test is an ultrasound of the heart called an echocardiogram.

What are the most effective treatments for heart valve problems?

The valves can sometimes be repaired. It is always best to have the valve repaired because this preserves the person’s own tissues. Sometimes the valves are damaged beyond repair and have to be replaced with an artificial valve or valve made from animal tissues.

What is an aortic aneurysm and how is it different from a brain aneurysm?

Aortic_aneurysmThe aorta is the largest artery in the human body. Aorta carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to organs and tissues. An aneurysm of the aorta forms when part of the aorta becomes enlarged or “balloons out.” Aortic aneurysm can lead to many problems, including rupture and internal bleeding. Aneurysms can affect other blood vessels in the body, including blood vessels in the brain.

Are there any warning signs that a person is about to experience an aortic aneurysm? Who is most at risk?

Patients affected by aneurysms of the aorta can experience chest, back, or abdominal pain, especially if the aneurysm has leaked or ruptured. Very often, however, these aneurysms do not cause any symptoms. Some people are genetically predisposed to develop an aortic aneurysm. These people have one of several inherited conditions where connective tissues in their body are weak.

How would an aortic aneurysm be treated if it’s caught in time? 

Aortic aneurysms affecting part of the aorta called the Ascending Aorta (close to where it originates from the heart) are repaired with open surgery. Aortic aneurysms in other parts of the aorta can be repaired by less invasive catheter procedures.

With the use of modern testing techniques, can most heart attacks be prevented?

There are numerous tests that can detect coronary heart disease before it leads to a heart attack. These include Coronary Calcium Score and Exercise Stress tests. If coronary disease is found, it can be treated with medications, catheter procedures, or surgery, to prevent subsequent damage to the heart.

american heart monthWhat are the most effective preventative heart screenings? 

A Coronary Calcium Score involves a special type of a scan called a CT scan. It’s used for patients who are at increased risk of coronary disease but have not had symptoms. If the Calcium Score is abnormal, this will lead to further tests to establish the presence of coronary disease.

At what age should a person have the first screening? How often should a person have preventative screenings?

Currently, there is no exact age cut-off for Coronary Calcium Score screening. The screening test is recommended if a person’s calculated risk is more than 10%. The risk calculators take into account many factors including age, increased cholesterol, increased blood pressure, and family history of heart disease.

For more information about Dr. Anton Cherney and the Mercy Heart & Vascular Center, click HERE to visit the website. Dr. Cherney’s office is located at 2708 Rife Medical Lane, Suite 210, in Rogers, Ark. The phone number is 479-338-3888.

MERCY2

Heart month: Simple tests that save lives

quick tip mercyMany of us think about hearts and flowers when February rolls around, but we ignore the most important hearts — the one beating inside us and the hearts beating inside the chests of the people we love.

Doctors and nurses often hear people say, “I don’t have heart disease and I’ve never had chest pain. Why do I need these tests?”

Here’s why: Many times the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack or sudden death. (Let that sink in a for a minute.)

heart-864605_640There are often NO symptoms, or sometimes there are symptoms but they’re so mild that people write them off as being caused by other things (heartburn, fatigue, etc.)

If you truly love your heart (and your husband’s heart, your parents’ hearts, etc.), get it tested to make sure it’s healthy.

This month and throughout the year, Mercy offers two simple tests that help gauge where a patient (who has no symptoms) falls on the scale for having (or for developing) coronary artery disease, also referred to as CAD.

To know where you are on the scale, you need to have a baseline reading on these two heart tests:

1) Vascular Screen

2) Coronary Calcium Score

The Vascular Screen test includes a screening of the carotid artery and the aorta (using ultrasound). It also includes an “ankle-brachial index” which is done by taking your blood pressure in both legs.

The cost of this Vascular Screening is $100 and it’s done in the Mercy Cardiovascular Clinic in Rogers. (You can schedule it by calling Christine Friemoth at 479-338-3888.)

The Coronary Calcium Score (which is a hospital CT scan of your coronary arteries) costs $50 and can be scheduled through Mercy Central Scheduling at 479-338-2911.

We hope you’ll use heart month to set up these screening tests for yourself and the people you love. Happy February!