NMDOH urges New Mexicans to take action against diabetes. Courtesy image
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) urges residents learn the risk factors of diabetes, how to prevent it, and, if diagnosed, how to manage it.
“Of the approximately two million people in New Mexico, more than 567,000 of them have prediabetes,” DOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel said. “Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, yet over 50 percent of type 2 cases are preventable. Prevention begins with awareness.”
Prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Those with type 2 diabetes have a disease, and if not properly treated it can be accompanied by other conditions such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, amputation and early death.
Anyone could have prediabetes and face a chance for developing type 2 diabetes if they have any of the following risk factors:
- Age 40 years or older;
- Family history of type 2 diabetes;
- High blood pressure;
- Physically active fewer than three times a week; and
- Ever had gestational diabetes.
Simple action can reduce those risks but requires early action. The following are recommended by the Department of Health:
- The National Diabetes Prevention Program—or National DPP —is a partnership of public and private organizations, such as NMDOH, working to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes;
- The National DPP provides a year-long program proven to help people with prediabetes change their lifestyle to improve their health;
- Participants work with a trained lifestyle coach and share their experiences with others who have the same goals and challenges. Classes are available statewide in person or online;
- For people with other diagnosed chronic conditions, the Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living: initiative supported by the NMDOH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program offers a variety of evidence based self-management programs in Spanish and English; and
- The programs are designed for adults of all ages, and they help New Mexicans gain the confidence and motivation they need to take care of their health, as well as learn new skills to prevent diabetes or better manage their chronic health conditions.
The programs are offered around the state by trained individuals in community and clinical settings.
For more information about Paths to Health New Mexico, visit www.pathstohealthnm.org.