November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Education helps those with diabetes manage their disease
November 1, 2011
From left: Certified diabetes educators Jeanine Lake, RN, and Nancy Thomas, RN, offer diabetes self-management training at Franklin Memorial Hospital along with care support nurse Eileen Caffrey, RN, and dietician Karen Stewart, CDE.
Are you overweight, tired, thirsty, or experiencing frequent trips to the bathroom? Are you always hungry, yet showing signs of sudden weight loss? Do your fingers and toes tingle or go numb?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, Jeannine Lake, RN, CDE, a diabetes educator at Franklin Memorial Hospital suggests that you consult a physician because you may be experiencing symptoms of diabetes. If a diagnosis is made, your physician may suggest diabetes education, medication, and lifestyle modifications, such as proper diet and regular exercise.
According to Lake, “More than eight percent of Americans have diabetes, and about one-fourth of those individuals are not even aware that they have it.”
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life.
Diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions in the United States, due in part to the increasing frequency of obesity and inactive lifestyles. According to the American Diabetes Association, each year nearly two million people, ages 20 or older, are newly diagnosed with diabetes.
Left untreated or managed poorly, diabetes can lead to amputations, kidney failure, heart failure, large and small vessel disease, blindness and strokes.
“While it’s easy to screen for diabetes through a simple blood glucose test, diabetes may not be easily recognized at first since so many of its symptoms are common complaints,” said Lake. “Unfortunately, many people initially become aware that they have diabetes when they develop one of its life-threatening complications.”
For individuals living with diabetes, Franklin Memorial Hospital offers diabetes self-management training that provides information to help manage the disease and prevent complications. Certified diabetes educators, care support nurses, and a registered clinical dietician provide the education and services that are certified by the American Diabetes Association. Clients learn about the roles that exercise, nutrition, blood glucose monitoring, medications, and stress management play in controlling their diabetes. One-on-one counseling and class structured learning are tailored to need and insurance requirements.
Other diabetes management services offered are: continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pump training and assistance, and insulin instruction.
Diabetes education and care is also offered at several Franklin Health practices. To learn if your medical practice provides this service ask your primary care provider.
For more information, call 779-2539 or 779-2225.
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