Healthwatch 16: Diabetes

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MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Personalizing diabetes care has been a goal of doctors who treat the disorder at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

They're able to better do that now, thanks to a new calculator that was developed.

Nationwide, health officials already know that diabetes, a disorder resulting in elevated sugar levels in the blood, is a big issue. That is why these days, a lot of attention is being given to prediabetes.

Dr. David Rolston is director of internal medicine and chair of medicine specialties at Geisinger Health System.

"Oh, my goodness. It's a huge problem already," Dr. Rolston said. "85 million Americans have prediabetes. and 90 percent of them don't even know they have the condition."

Prediabetes is when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are higher than normal, but not yet at diabetic level. It's a wakeup call that you could be on the path to Type 2 diabetes.

It's the reason researchers at Geisinger developed a new tool to help doctors figure out who is most at risk.

"We made a calculator called the 'diabetes risk estimator,'" Craig Wood said.

Wood is a biostatistician at Geisinger. For a few weeks, he and his team pored over the numbers in some 30,000 Geisinger medical records -- height, weight, blood pressure, etc. -- and worked to translate that into an easy-to-read score; data doctors can use.

"The formula behind it is a very long, complex mathematical equation. But the way we make it easy is that we automate it into the electronic health record, so providers get it at their fingertips," Wood explained.

That score will allow doctors to see exactly how at risk for prediabetes you are, a much more personalized option than ever before.

"Rather than say, go lose weight, we can now put a number to that weight, give them actual data to work with," Dr. Rolston said.

The makers of the calculator say there are similar tools used to determine risk for other issues, including cardiac care.

Learn more about diabetes at Geisinger Health System's website.

1 Comment

  • Stella Jacobsen

    I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2017. I started the some diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. Then I found Lisa’s diabetes story (google ” How I freed myself from diabetes ” ) I read that article from end to end because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next week my blood sugar was down to 100 and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just three week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 16 pounds and 3+ inches around my waist in a month. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods

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