Friday, June 26, 2009

Diabetes Resource Center Offers Education and Management Tools

What do Sonia Sotomayor, Bret Michaels and Nick Jonas have in common?


They are among the 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8 percent of the population, who have diabetes. In Maryland, the rate of diabetes has grown over the past 10 years, from 6 percent of adults in 1998 to 7.9 percent of adults in 2006. By the end of 2007, there were 358,000 adults with the disease in the state, according to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In Maryland it is estimated there is another undiagnosed group of 143,000 adults.

Luckily, the Diabetes Resource Center at Sinai works with patients with diabetes by promoting healthy behavior for an improved quality of life. The center recently completed its application for certification by the American Diabetes Association.

In addition to addressing the fear about regular injections, staff members at the center acknowledge the constant maintenance required in controlling diabetes. By taking into consideration a patient’s feelings and daily lifestyle, the center is re-inventing diabetes management. Education is key to helping people with diabetes manage their disease, so group classes are offered for ongoing education and support. The center’s components also include glucose monitoring, medication and/or insulin instruction, nutritional counseling, and a focus on prevention of complications. Other staff members at the center include diabetes nurse educators, pharmacists and registered dietitians.

There is a close relationship with patients. Physicians and staff can facilitate care with other specialists in the LifeBridge Health system, including the Krieger Eye Institute, the Sleep Center at Sinai and the Heart Center at Sinai. Plus, new technology at the Diabetes Resource Center includes real-time glucose monitoring, insulin pump therapy and intensive insulin treatment.

The Diabetes Resource Center staff makes it their mission to educate people on the risk factors for diabetes, including obesity. It is no coincidence that the obesity rates are tied to the rise of type 2 diabetes. There are 21.4 million men and 22.9 million women in the United States who are currently obese.

For more information on the Diabetes Resource Center, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

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