The Wright Center Honors American Diabetes Month

Chances are, you know someone who has diabetes, whether it’s a family member or a close friend. The disease remains deadly serious, but thankfully, many medical advances have been made in recent years. And people are getting more proactive about their diabetes care than ever before.

But there’s still work to be done, which makes causes like American Diabetes Month all the more integral to the battle.

Observed during November and sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Diabetes Month is used to spread timely and relevant diabetes-related information. Among other things, it provides programs and education aimed at helping people prevent and manage diabetes through healthy living; advocates for the equitable treatment of those living with diabetes; funds research to advance treatment and ultimately find a cure for the disease; and makes an impact in local communities through donations and direct action.

According to the ADA, about 37 million Americans currently live with diabetes, while nearly one in two people have diabetes or prediabetes – staggering and alarming statistics, no question. Genetics play a role in the disease’s prevalence, but so do poor lifestyle choices. With that in mind, we at The Wright Center for Community Health are doing our part to combat diabetes locally through our Lifestyle Medicine initiative, which can now be found at all of our primary and preventive care practices throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.

No doubt, medications and cutting-edge treatments play an essential role in our long-term health, but we should all be doing as much as we can to take a more proactive, rather than reactive, approach to our health. Lifestyle Medicine adheres to this philosophy by helping individuals and families improve their health and quality of life by adopting and sustaining lifestyle behaviors, including eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, practicing stress relief techniques, increasing physical activity, strengthening personal relationships and connections, and adjusting sleep habits for better, more restorative rest. It’s not alternative medicine but rather an evidence-based approach that very well could revolutionize health care in America.

The Lifestyle Medicine concept is increasingly gaining traction in the medical community precisely because the data shows it can prevent, treat, or even reverse diseases like diabetes, as well as cancer and hypertension. It’s really all about making those conscious choices to alter our behaviors for the better, and our team, trained in both conventional medicine and Lifestyle Medicine, works with patients to create a personalized lifestyle self-care plan that you can implement and sustain.

Many people with diabetes struggle with their weight, which inevitably puts them at risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. And that makes them prime candidates not only for Lifestyle Medicine but also for our Obesity Medicine services.

For anyone suffering from a weight-related illness, The Wright Center offers non-surgical approaches to manage better, care for, and overcome obesity.  Our board-certified obesity medicine physicians consider all the relevant factors – environmental, genetic, behavioral, and nutritional – that lead to excessive weight gain and, from there, offer evidence-based approaches to provide patients with the safest, most effective weight loss solutions available. By getting to an ideal weight, you can significantly decrease the likelihood of developing chronic conditions while markedly improving the overall quality of your life.

Diabetes remains a very serious disease, but prevention and treatment are well within reach thanks to modern medicine and an overall healthier approach to living. It can be done – trust the process. 

Douglas Klamp, M.D., a board-certified internal medicine physician, see patients ages 18 and over at The Wright Center for Community Health Clarks Summit Practice. He also serves as the senior vice president and chief medical education officer of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, as well as associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.