to provide diabetes information
During November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, St. Mary’s Hospital is providing information to the public about the disease. Becky Ewing, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator will be making two public presentations. The first will be held in Cottonwood on Monday, December 4 in the SMHC Conference Room. The second presentation will be held Tuesday, December 5 in the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center. Both presentations begin at 7:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
A representative from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Laura Hefner-Glavin, will provide a display of recent equipment and supplies designed for managing Diabetes.
“Research has taught us the value of practicing preventive care to maintain a healthy life,” said Ewing. “Our hospital is interested in sharing that information so people with diabetes can learn to manage their disease. Following is some very basic information about the ABCs of diabetes control.”
A is for the lab test hemoglobin A-1-C. This test measures the average of a person’s blood sugars over the last three months. The America Diabetes Association goal is 7. The American College of Endocrinologists suggest we try for the goal of 6.2, to further reduce the risk of complications caused by diabetes. People with diabetes should talk to their health care provider to determine their individual goal. This lab test should be performed every 3-4 months to help monitor diabetes control. Endocrinologists are physicians who specialize in treating people with diabetes.
B is for blood pressure. The ADA’s suggested goal is 130/80. Your blood pressure should be checked every time you see your health care provider. If it is elevated, talk to your health care provider about ways to lower your numbers. Some suggestions include reducing your daily salt intake. Exercising daily like a simple walking program will help to reduce blood pressure. If you are not able to walk due to limited mobility you can do some simple chair exercises. Talk with your health care provider about getting started and what they recommend. Also, losing only 10 lbs. of weight can make a difference in your blood pressure. If, by making these changes, you are still not able to lower your blood pressure, talk to your health care provider about medications. Keeping your blood pressure numbers below target range will reduce the risk of complications caused by high blood pressure associated with diabetes.
C is for Cholesterol. People with diabetes have increased risk for heart attacks and strokes caused by high cholesterol. This test should be performed yearly. If your values are elevated, then you need to talk with your health care provider to develop a plan of action to reduce your values. Your health care provider may suggest a 3 month program of lowered fat intake. ( I hate the word DIET! It is not a diet. It is the right way to use food to maintain a healthy life!) If after 3 months your goals are met, great! If not, medication may be necessary to help lower your values. The values we strive for are :Total cholesterol below 200. Triglycerides 150; HDL for men around 45, for women above 45 to 50. Exercise has a positive affect on increasing this value. The LDL goal for people with diabetes is 100 or below.
Ewing takes appointments for diabetic patients through the Kamiah Medical Clinic and the SMHC Cottonwood clinic. Rachel Larson, Registered Dietitian, also sees patients for regular appointments for training in meal planning and carbohydrate counting. Patients must be referred by their health care provider.