Kandy Johnson, RN and, Christine Clark, Registered and Licensed Dietitian talked to us about diabetes in this Your Health segment.
Question: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month so today is ideal to focus on diabetes. One of Washington Regional's many services that are offered to the community includes diabetes education. We have Christine Clark and Kandy Johnson to share this program with us. Here are a few questions...How can patients attend the diabetes education program?
Answer: Our diabetes education program is recognized by the ADA and can be accessed through a patient's physician. The physician sends a referral and we initiate contact with the patient from there. The program includes an assessment, four classes and a follow up session.
Question: I know there is much talk about diabetes being on the rise. Can you explain the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Answer: Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the level of glucose in the blood. It requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition where cells fail to use insulin properly, this is sometimes combined with insulin deficiency.
Question: Is there another type of diabetes?
Answer: Yes, Gestational diabetes is a condition that can occur in women who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes. They show high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Most frequently, this disappears after delivery.
Question: What are the Risk Factors for type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Answer: (read list) Risk factors include- Family history, being overweight, aging, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, race, African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics are at higher risk, cardiovascular disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, abnormal lipids meaning high cholesterol or triglycerides, a history of gestational diabetes, a baby weighing greater than 9 pounds, polycystic ovarian disease or if you have had an injury to the pancreas.
Question: How is a diagnosis made?
Answer: A diagnosis can made from a blood test for diabetes such as a fasting or random blood sugar, a glucose tolerance test or a hemoglobin AIC test.
Question: What are possible treatments for diabetes?
Answer: Treatment is individualized. But in regards to medicine, insulin will always be required with type 1 whether through injections with a syringe, pen or insulin pump (show samples). With Type 2 diabetes, there are options including oral medications, insulin and orals, or insulin alone. Or, treatment might be nutrition, physical activity and weight loss! (Show and discuss nutrition/food models.
Question: To sum this up, what is the mission or goal of the diabetes education classes?
Answer: We hope to empower our patients to adopt the 7 Self Care Behaviors promoted by the American Association Diabetes Educators which include: (read from list) healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risk. Our goal is to empower patients to prevent, delay, avoid and reduce the risks of diabetes complications.
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