Kimbrough provides education during National Diabetes Month

By Ms. Leah RobertsNovember 13, 2017

Diabetes education through nutrition
Photo caption: Ms. Leah Roberts (right), Registered Dietitian, Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, explains better ways in making healthy choices through vegetables and fruits to Spc. Traver (left) and Sgt. Zalikowski as Ms. Karen Bartholet, (center) K... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as "sugar."

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:

• Frequent urination

• Excessive thirst

• Unexplained weight loss

• Extreme hunger

• Sudden vision changes

• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet

• Feeling very tired much of the time

• Very dry skin

• Sores that are slow to heal

• More infections than usual

Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called Type1 diabetes.

What are the types of diabetes?

Type1 diabetes, previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are less well defined for Type1 diabetes than for Type2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of this type of diabetes.

Type2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type2 diabetes may account for about 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors for Type2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for Type2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes develops in 2 percent to 5 percent of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing Type2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.

Treatment for Type2 diabetes

Treatment typically includes diet control, exercise, home blood glucose testing, and in some cases, oral medication and/or insulin. Approximately 40 percent of people with Type2 diabetes require insulin injections.

Can diabetes be prevented?

A number of studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type2 diabetes. Type2 diabetes is also associated with obesity.

Is there a cure for diabetes?

In response to the growing health burden of diabetes mellitus (diabetes), the diabetes community has three choices: prevent diabetes; cure diabetes; and take better care of people with diabetes to prevent devastating complications. All three approaches are actively being pursued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Kimbrough offers individual and group appointments for persons with diabetes. Staff includes Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educators with appointments available daily. Additionally, we are teaching a Diabetes class monthly. The class is a Diabetes Self-Management Education class and we discuss the following topics: healthy eating, being active, problem solving, healthy coping, monitoring, taking medications, reducing risks. Persons with diabetes DO NOT require a referral to get an appointment and should call the appointment line and request an appointment with Nutrition. Within those topics we discuss in depth prevention of complications, sick day management and foot care. Individuals will be involved in developing a diabetes support plan and management goals.

Regarding prevention, we see individuals with prediabetes and use an evidence-based approach for prevention of Type2 diabetes in an individual appointment. Prediabetes is still a time where individuals can prevent diabetes and can be thought of as a 'window of opportunity' for prevention. Diabetes can be prevented!

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Services at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center

Kimbrough offers individual and group appointments for treating diabetes by our registered dietitian and certified diabetes educators with appointments available daily.

Also offered are monthly diabetes classes which focuses on Diabetes Self-Management Education. Among the topics discussed are: healthy eating, being active, problem solving, coping and monitoring, taking medications, and reducing risks. Additional topics include, in-depth prevention of complications, sick day management and foot care.

All participants will have opportunity to develop a diabetes support plan and management goals.

Individuals with diabetes DO NOT require a referral for an appointment and can call the appointment line to make an appointment with Nutrition Clinic.

During the National Diabetes Month, Kimbrough will offer multiple Grocery Tours at the Fort Meade Commissary:

• November 14, 15, and 16 -- 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

• To participate, please contact Nancy Reed at (301) 677-8043.