November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Did you know approximately 311,554 (6.9% of the adult population) in Colorado have diagnosed diabetes, and that every year approximately 34,291 people are newly diagnosed?  In addition, there are approximately 117,000 people who have undiagnosed diabetes and an astounding 1,444,000 people who have prediabetes.

Understanding what diabetes is and how it affects your body are key to awareness.  There are two main components of diabetes: glucose, and insulin.  Glucose is a fancy medical word for sugar.  Glucose is essential to our bodies; our cells use it for energy.  You can get glucose from multiple different food sources.  Sugar is found naturally in complex carbohydrates like grains, fruits, and some vegetables; and is also added in carbohydrates such as pastas and artificial sweeteners.  Our body converts any sugars (natural and artificial) to glucose.  The glucose is then picked up by Insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that is required to move glucose from your bloodstream into your cells where it is used for energy.  This means that insulin is necessary to sustain life since glucose is the body’s primary form of energy.  Insulin regulates the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.  Too much glucose and not enough insulin to regulate is called Diabetes.  There are several types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Below are descriptions of each.

Type 1 diabetes – a condition that develops in response to an immune reaction, and it cannot be prevented. Your body either does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t produce insulin at all.  People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin multiple times daily to survive and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes – the body still produces insulin, but cells have become resistant to its effect.  This is called insulin resistance and means the body isn’t working as it should to move glucose from the blood into cells.  This type of diabetes can be prevented and treated with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors, but often medicine is required as well.  Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent form of diagnosed diabetes.

Prediabetes – is diagnosed when a person’s HgbA1c is between 5.7% and 6.4% – this indicates that a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.  Prediabetes is reversible!!  This diagnosis increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  Because you likely will not have symptoms with prediabetes, you can have it for years without knowing it.

Risk Factors – Common risk factors include family history (parent or sibling) that has diabetes, being overweight, being over 45 years old, little or no physical activity (less than 3 times per week), ever having gestational diabetes or belonging to one of the following ethnic groups: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans.

What can you do?  Get a regular annual physical with your PCP (Primary Care Physician), get moderate physical activity at least 4-5 days per week (30 minutes), eat a healthy diet, and know your risk factors.  Included in your annual physical is routine blood work that can detect diabetes before you have symptoms, such as Hemoglobin A1c.  This is a blood test that correlates to a person’s average daily blood sugar from the previous three months and is used as the primary diagnostic marker for diabetes.  A normal result for a person without diabetes is less than 5.7%, and diabetes is normally diagnosed at a level of 6.5%.

If you have diabetes or prediabetes and want to learn more about how you can better manage your health, please talk with your doctor.


The Burden of Diabetes in Colorado. Accessed via the American Diabetes Association website on October 24, 2022:


New Patient Inquiry / Non-Medical Questions


* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Quick Links


Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mon – Fri: 7:30am - 5pm
Sat: 8am - 12pm
Sat Lab & X-Ray hours: 8am - 12pm (West office only)

Our Locations

(970) 356-6928

Get Directions

(970) 353-2801

Get Directions

more Locations

(970) 587-7738

Get Directions

(970) 378-8088

Get Directions

Accessibility Toolbar