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November 28, 2012 06:14 PM

Why You Need To Know If You're Pre-Diabetic

sioux falls, sd

You've likely heard about diabetes, but how about pre-diabetes? 

The condition can lead to diabetes, which is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.  Pre-diabetes can also cause long-term damage to your body.

A diabetes screening is not unusual for Kim Kock.  She's been watching her blood sugar level closely since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes more than a decade ago.

"I was surprised. I don't really know of a family history. I don't know of any of my immediate family who have it," Kock said.

Today, Kock's blood sugar is still at a level considered to be pre-diabetic.

"That's become a huge thing on our radar because we used to just treat diabetes once it got full-blown, and we were behind," Sanford Clinical Nurse Specialist Andrea Wessel said.

If you do have diabetes or pre-diabetes and don't catch it early enough, it could lead to long-term damage to the body.

"The sooner we can learn those lifestyle modifications and get those into place, the lower the chances of complications are," Wessel said.

That's why Wessel wants people to find out their blood sugar level.  Sanford offered a free screening to do just that on Wednesday.

"If you know you're at higher risk, we'll help teach you lifestyle modifications, like exercising, watching what you eat and watching stress management," Wessel said.

Since finding out she has pre-diabetes, Kock is eating better and exercising more. She knows how important it is to know your blood sugar level and prevent diabetes.

{"It's kind of the silent killer. It's the thing you don't know that's going on in your body. You don't know your blood sugar is high. You don't necessarily feel it, so it's really important to check," Kock said.

A check that can prevent future health problems.

You can attend a class next week to learn more about pre-diabetes and your risk of having the condition.

Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Location: Sanford USD Medical Center
            Locken Lobby
            Meeting Room C
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 (one family member at no cost)

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