Diabetes Program

Natives of all ages and both sexes have a high prevalence of obesity. Obesity is a key contributor to diabetes and it is a grave issue among Natives. Increases in obesity and diabetes is relatively recent in Natives: In the Last 1-2 generations, we can be attribute these changes to the fact that their is a high abundance of foods that are extremely high in fat now available that weren't before and the transition from a very physical and active lifestyle to a relatively immobile, sedentary, low physical lifestyle.

Program coordinator

Danielle Bellinger, RN
Clinic Nurse, Quality Improvement

The Diabetes Team:

Danielle Bellinger

Ellen Williams

Diabetes 

What is diabetes mellitus? 

  • blood sugar is too high (too much sugar in the blood is not good for your health)

Pre-Diabetes - blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed.

There are two types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 Diabetes - About ~5% of those diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It's diagnosed primarily in children and young adults, and it is due to the body not being able to produce insulin. 
  • Type 2 Diabetes - About 95% of those diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes; the cells in the muscles, liver and fat do not use insulin properly; eventually the body can't make enough insulin which leads to high blood pressure. 

Diabetes and Obesity in the Community

Natives of all ages and both sexes have a high prevalence of obesity. Obesity is a key contributor to diabetes and it is a grave issue among Natives.  Increases in obesity and diabetes is relatively recent in Natives: In the Last 1-2 generations, we can be attribute these changes to the fact that their is a high abundance of foods that are extremely high in fat now available that weren't before and the transition from a very physical and active lifestyle to a relatively immobile, sedentary, low physical lifestyle. 

Symptoms

Common symptoms of diabetes:
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling  very thirsty or hungry even though you are eating regularly
  • Extreme fatiuge
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts / Bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss - even though you are eating more (Type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands / feet (Type 2)
  • Not living a healthy lifestyle
  • Overweightness 
  • No physical activity

Risk Factors

  • Family members / Immediate family members with a history of diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Smoking

Diabetic Screening and Care

We provide diabetes screenings here at AIHSC as well as out-patient diabetes care and treatment. Adjustments in care and treatment are done in collaboration with clinician and patient.