Diabetes Education Group Returns to Huron
May 22, 2020
Community members will have access to a listening ear, information and professionals who can help make managing diabetes easier.
Living with diabetes can feel isolating and stressful – that’s why joining a support group has multiple benefits. At Huron Regional Medical Center, the James Valley Diabetes Group was formed to offer insights about diabetes and to bolster a community of like-minded people.
“A group of community providers and clinical staff have come together with the end goal of reducing the number of diabetes diagnoses from pre- to full diabetes,” says Dennise Brock, RN, education coordinator at HRMC. “We want to help those with diagnoses learn to manage their condition better.”
The group aims to help patients manage all types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. With Type 1, your body produces very little or no insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases. With Type 2, your body doesn’t make good use of the insulin it produces.
- Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose during pregnancy that can cause complications for both mother and child. It often disappears after pregnancy, but women who have this condition, as well as their babies, are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to classify as Type 2 diabetes. “Prediabetes affects one in three American adults,” says Kristin Pratt, CNP, family nurse practitioner at HRMC Physicians Clinic. “If left untreated, prediabetes can progress into Type 2 diabetes.”
Strength in Numbers
The diabetes group initiatives include:
- hosting screenings and events that introduce community members to experts and new diabetes research and therapies
- lifestyle coaching for patients
- making personal connections, whether for receiving diabetes management support or helping a family member who has the disease
- visiting businesses to educate employees
- working with providers in the community and their clinical staff to increase diagnosis
- workshops on grocery shopping, diabetic foot care, heart health and more.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Diabetes
Diabetes can present in many different ways, so it is important to be aware of what to look for. “Over time, poorly controlled or undiagnosed diabetes can lead to serious complications,” says Kristin Pratt, CNP, family nurse practitioner at HRMC Physicians Clinic. “These complications include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, loss of sensation in the hands or feet, and even amputations.”
Speak with your primary care provider about screening for diabetes if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- blurry vision
- dry skin
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination, especially at night
- increased hunger
- increased infections
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- slow-healing wounds
- unintended weight loss
If you do not have a primary care provider to discuss your symptoms with, visit HRMC's Find a Doc.
Watch for details about the James Valley Diabetes Group kickoff on Facebook and at www.huronregional.org.
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