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Learn about diabetes with the help of Fort HealthCare CDE’s

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that currently has no cure, and up to 70 percent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed through modifying habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle. To help spread the word regarding treatment and the search for a cure, World Diabetes Day is held each November, which is also American Diabetes Month. To participate in the awareness surrounding this national health observation day, Fort HealthCare will have a table set up in the Armenia Street lobby on Tuesday, November 14th from 10am – 1pm with handouts. There will be a Certified Diabetes Educator on site to answer any questions you may have.

The International Diabetes Federation reports the following facts about the prevalence of diabetes and its impact on our society:

  • Screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Diabetes is a huge and growing burden; 415 million adults were reported as living with diabetes in 2015, and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million – or one in 10 adults – by 2040.
  • One in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed.
  • Many people live with type 2 diabetes for a long period of time without being aware of their condition. By the time of diagnosis, diabetes complications may already be present.
  • With increasing levels of poor nutrition and physical inactivity among children in many countries, type 2 diabetes in childhood has the potential to become a global public health issue leading to serious health outcomes.
  • 12 percent of total global expenditure on health is currently spent on adults with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is not the only type – but it is the type that can often be prevented or significantly delayed with modifying habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle, which is why it is given so much attention by health organizations. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood, and it is a disease where the body is unable to create its own insulin for blood sugar stabilization. Gestational diabetes is a condition that many pregnant mothers experience.

Fort HealthCare lead diabetes educator, Rea Fritz, BS, RN, CDE notes, “If you already have diabetes, controlling it is crucial. Since most individuals with diabetes are responsible for their own care it is important to know how to self-manage the disease. The best approach to care is multidisciplinary. The care team usually includes a primary physician, diabetic educator, dietician, ophthalmologist, podiatrist and possibly an endocrinologist.” Fort HealthCare offers an American Association of Diabetes Educators recognized diabetic education program to guide patients in developing a self-management care.

Fritz continues, “It is also worth noting that often an annual follow-up with a dietician and diabetes educator is a Medicare benefit most people don’t know about, and diabetes education for a first time diagnosis is typically covered by most private insurances. All it takes to take steps toward controlling the disease is a referral from a primary care provider to our education program. Our structured curriculum and can provide support.”

The warning signs of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, tiredness, vomiting and stomach pain, blurred vision, frequent infections, slow-healing wounds, lack of concentration and a tingling sensation in the hands or feet.

Not all these signs are present in everyone and having some of the signs does not constitute a diagnosis of diabetes. If you are concerned about having diabetes or are experiencing any of the warning signs, contact your healthcare provider.

To learn more about diabetes and the programs available at Fort HealthCare, visit

Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, with a vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is our goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life, while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long term basis. For more information, visit