Magnitude of the Disease
Diabetes currently is not only one of the fastest growing diseases in America, but also one of the largest drains on our health care system dollars. It is estimated that there are about 26 million persons in this country who have diabetes and another 7 million with undiagnosed diabetes, and 89 million over the age of 20 with pre-diabetes. Diabetes is found in 20.9% of all persons over the age of 60.
Diabetes affects every organ in the body, increasing the risk of a multitude of other health problems. Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, renal disease, and non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Persons with diabetes have 4 to 5 times increased risk over the average population for heart attack and stroke. Hypertension and hyperlipidemia are commonly associated with the diagnosis of diabetes.
Due to the magnitude of the disease, it is essential that diabetes and pre-diabetes be diagnosed and treated in a timely and appropriate manner. While we typically think of type II diabetes as a disease that predominately affects adults or older adults, we are now seeing an epidemic growth in the number of children with diabetes. If the current trend continues, 1 of every 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop type II diabetes.
So how can we reverse this?
- Place more emphasis on preventative management of diabetes
- Advocate earlier intervention to prevent the expense of dollars and human suffering
- Foster self management skills in persons who have diabetes
- Increase awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and pre-diabetes to patients, community members, insurance companies, and the health care community
Our Diabetes Management Program
Introduction to Diabetes
Discussion of the definition of diabetes, types of diabetes, signs and symptoms of diabetes, prevalence, risk factors, and seriousness of the disease.
Discussion of food groups, rationale for a meal plan, glycemic indices, how to read food labels, carbohydrate counting, shopping, dinning out, travel, saturated fats and cholesterol, artificial sweeteners, alcohol consumption, utilization of the meal plan to control blood glucose levels, maintenance of or facilitate weight loss, and lower cholesterol/triglyceride levels.
Goals, benefits, and types of exercise to improve diabetic control and overall health.
Types of medications (oral agents, insulin, and other injectable medications) used in the management of diabetes.
Home Glucose Monitoring
Appropriate use and care of monitor, proper finger stick technique, and times to monitor along with the goals of home glucose monitoring, target blood glucose control, and record keeping.
A brief introduction into dining out, including changes in schedule and how to handle, effects on blood sugar control, eating out including restaurants, foods, and snacks.
Long Term Complications of Diabetes:
The risk and prevalence of retinopathy, neuropathy, coronary artery disease, stroke, impotence, and amputation are discussed.
Diagnostic Testing Related to the Management of Diabetes
Participants are education on the following diagnostic tests,goals,normal values,abnormal values, management of abnormal values, and risks associated with abnormal values :
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Urine for microalbuminuria
- Blood pressure values
- Blood pressure values with renal disease or proteinuria less than 125/75
- Lipids (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL)