Diabetes: A Wisconsin epidemic?

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — Diabetes is being called an epidemic in Wisconsin, and many people right here in central Wisconsin deal with the disease.

However, one area resident has not let the disease get the best of him.

It’s a typical evening at the gym for 34-year-old Bill Giese, but getting there isn’t always a simple task.

“You don’t have the energy, you don’t want to do anything. You just want to sit on the couch and not want to move, but it’s not going to do you any good. You have to do something,” said Giese.

Giese has been an avid power lifter for years but, for the past three decades, Giese has suffered from Type 1 diabetes.

“I got it when I was so young, I just kind of done my own thing. I haven’t let it stop me at all; just keep going,” said Giese.

The disease is on the rise in the Badger State.

“It is terrible. Our area is some of the worst affected; probably about 50 percent of our area,” said Dr.Tim Logemann from Aspirus Cardiology.

Statistics show that 356,000 adults and 6,500 children and adolescents in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“There is probably a genetic disposition, and in addition to sugar, so some people are more or less sensitive. So we are just starting to understand that,” said Dr.Logemann.

There are two types to the disease: Type 1 and Type 2, but they are very different.

“Type 2 diabetes is directly related to obesity and insulin resistance. Type 1, that kids often get, is totally different disease,” said Dr. Logemann.”So, sometimes the treatment is giving more insulin but, in certain ways, you are making the problem worse. Insulin makes people gain more weight and starts a cycle.”

Experts like Dr. Logemann believe for diabetes the simple solution is to cut out the sugar and starches and increase fat intake.

This is something Giese said he knows all about. While Giese was growing up, both his parents developed Type 2 diabetes.

Since then, he said they have both made progress in making healthier habits.

“There are days where you don’t want to do anything, then you are just losing the battle so you just have to keep going,” Giese said.

While it takes four shots of insulin to get there, Giese doesn’t let his diabetes keep him from doing what he loves.

Another issue that Dr. Logemann mentioned as a high risk for Type 2 diabetes in our area is the climate, which makes it hard for people to be more active, but there are plenty of winter activities to keep everyone busy.

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