Marquette, MI– November is diabetes awareness month. About 23,000 people in the Upper Peninsula have diabetes, which is more than the population of the city of Marquette. One-third of those people with diabetes are undiagnosed. Damage is being done to blood vessels and kidneys while they go untreated and sugar levels go uncontrolled.
Many people also have pre-diabetes. If this is ignored, it will lead to diabetes. But, if pre-diabetes is treated before the symptoms lead to diabetes, it can be avoided. More than 48,000 people have pre-diabetes. That is more than the entire population of Marquette County – our largest U.P. county.
• Certified diabetes educators (CDEs) and diabetes education programs exist at 14 of the 15 hospitals in the U.P. CDEs and diabetes education programs offer individual and group workshops to help people better manage their diabetes.
• Registered dietitians (RDs) may also work with people with diabetes on the nutrition aspect of management. Medicare and Medicaid as well as some insurance plans cover these services, although co-pays and deductions may apply.
• Diabetes support groups provide another avenue of support for people. In the Upper Peninsula alone there are twenty-five different support groups. Support groups exist for families of children with diabetes, insulin pump users, and tribal members.
• Another type of supportive program is the PATH (Personal Action Towards Health) workshop. This six-week workshop is offered at various times of the year by different entities across the U.P. PATH is not limited to people with diabetes but is an empowering program for
• The U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network (UPDON) offers information on programs and help available in all 15 Upper Peninsula counties. Established in 1985, UPDON has been instrumental in disseminating information about diabetes care and prevention, helping hospitals develop diabetes education programs, bringing PATH to the area, reviving a much needed diabetes kids camp, and providing support to U.P. college students with diabetes. UPDON has also created an online resource directory and a listing of assistance that is available by county for people with diabetes.
These two helpful resources along with information about diabetes education programs, support groups, PATH workshops, and other community and professional events can be viewed by visiting www.diabetesinmichigan.org and clicking on the U.P. Individuals may also call the UPDON office at (906) 228-9203 for more information.