November is Diabetes Awareness month, which is a great time to learn something new about the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and is on the rise. It is a contributing factor in cardiovascular mortality and renal failure.
We sat down with Deb Murray, RN, MSN and Certified Diabetes Educator to learn a little more about the basics of this very common disease. Deb Murray is part of our Diabetes Center team. The Diabetes Center is staffed by Dr. Ammar Bayrakdar, a board certified endocrinologist, and two certified Diabetes Educators, Deb Murray and Kristin Strickland RD, LDN, CDE. “Each of us has had our lives touched by Diabetes in personal ways. We follow the standards of care provided by the American Diabetes Association. We are passionate about providing individualized education to our patients and their families,” said Murray. “Our goal is for our patients to have the quality of life they deserve by achieving and maintaining control of their Diabetes through education, medication if necessary, and leading a healthy lifestyle.”
Here are Deborah’s answers to your most basic Diabetes questions:
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas either does not: produce insulin, enough insulin, or the body does not utilize the insulin produced correctly. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows our body’s cells to absorb glucose from the blood to be used for energy.
How do you know if you have Diabetes?
The signs and symptoms of Diabetes are: excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger, blurred vision, weight loss, slow wound healing, and unusual weight loss. Many people are at risk for Diabetes. Some risk factors can be prevented and some cannot.
Uncontrollable risk factors for Diabetes include:
Being older than 45
Family history of Diabetes
Ethnicity (American Indian, Hispanic, African American…..)
Having Diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to a baby 9 lbs. or greater
Controllable risk factors for Diabetes include:
Having high blood pressure
Can Diabetes be prevented?
Diabetes cannot always be prevented. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas is attacked by the individual’s antibodies causing the pancreas the inability to produce insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes can sometimes be prevented through healthy eating, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Many people may have a strong propensity toward developing Diabetes through genetics, age, ethnicity, and a previous history of Diabetes during pregnancy.
What kind of help does Little Company of Mary Hospital offer patients with Diabetes?
Little Company of Mary Hospital has an American Diabetes Association accredited education program with classes being held at the hospital in the morning or evening. Patients also have the opportunity to see Dr. Ammar Bayrakdar, a board-certified endocrinologist (doctor that specializes in Diabetes), or one of our certified Diabetes Educators including, myself (Deb Murray RN, MSN, CDE), or Kristin Strickland, RD, LDN, CDE.
Our Diabetes Center, located in the North Pavilion on the Main Floor, provides comprehensive outpatient Diabetes services to the community. The Diabetes Center certified by the American Diabetes Association, provides comprehensive outpatient Diabetes services to the community. The Center offers treatment, nutrition and medication education, support and glucose monitoring for patients and support services for family members.
What does the Wound Care Center at LCM offer to diabetic patients?
The Wound Care Center is staffed by trained specialists in the care and treatment of difficult to heal wounds. Occasionally, Diabetics encounter wounds which may be difficult to heal and requires the expertise of our services.
Does LCMH offer any educational Diabetes programs or classes for the community?
Monthly classes are held and are billable to your insurance company. Support group is held in the mornings and evenings. Topics are up to the group, and there is no charge to participate. We are present in the community at various health fairs, community events, and at Stickney Township from April through November.
If you’d like to learn more about LCM’s Diabetes Center and programs, call 708.229.5629.