NorthWest Indiana Has High Rate of Diabetics

Dave Stumm relied for the very first two decades of having Type 2 diabetes. But after taking diabetes education classes at LaPorte Hospital recently, Stumm became empowered.

"I learned that this is my disease. It does not really belong to the physician," said Stumm, 68, a retired insurance agent from New Buffalo, Michigan. "The classes could have saved my life in the long term."

His blood sugar is now monitored by him . He counts his calories and carbs. He did not get down on himself when he had to go on insulin.

"When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, the physician says with diet and exercise and medicine you can keep this under control," Stumm said. "Quite soon the physician says you're going to need insulin. Then somebody explained that it is not a question of if you will end up on insulin but when. In the event you do, great for you personally."

With diabetes rates in Indiana along with the Region more compared to the national average, the kind of diabetes education and direction that Stumm does has become crucial in Northwest Indiana.

By comparison, that amount was 4.5 percent in 1994. Possible explanations for the rise contain Americans' sedentary lifestyles and diets filled with sugary, fatty, processed foods.

In Northwest Indiana, the diabetes rates are 12.2 percent in Lake County, 9.4 percent in Porter County and 10.8 percent in LaPorte County, according to the latest CDC data, from 2013.

"We do have an elderly population, and Type 2  is more common after age 40," said Carol Sakelaris, a diabetes teacher for Methodist Hospitals. "We do possess a top minority population, and people of color have a greater prevalence of diabetes. And we're just a little bit more overweight and sedentary than another places in the state as well as in the united states."

Northwest Indiana counties really have a lot of the uncertainty factors for diabetes. Lake County ranks worse in relation to the state average for physical inactivity, obesity, food environment, smoking and the percentage of diabetic Medicare enrollees who receive regular tracking, as stated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2016 County Health Positions. Meanwhile, LaPorte County is worse compared to the Indiana average for obesity, food access and environment to exercise opportunities, while Porter County is below average in diabetic observation.

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