Nearly 26 million Americans currently have diabetes, while another 79 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. These numbers take a serious toll on people's health and their pocketbooks.
November is National Diabetes Month and Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) is dedicated to providing a diabetes education program to the community that meets the American Diabetes Association's standards for self-management and prevention.
Dr. Sherwin D Souza, an internal medicine physician who specializes in diabetes, is the director of Bingham Memorial Hospital's Diabetic Program. The program is managed by Kathy Puckett, Registered Dietitian and trained diabetes educator. Puckett teaches classes and also offers individual diabetes counseling.
Diabetes is defined by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin. The body is unable to convert sugars and starches properly into energy.
"There are steps people can take to prevent diabetes such as increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy and managing cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure," Puckett said. "Our diabetes program instructs patients in medical self-care and health promotions and encourages patients to take responsibility for their own health. We'll help you make lifestyle changes that can help with diabetes."
The American Diabetes Association reports that two out of three people with the disease will die from heart disease or stroke; diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness among adults and the rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
The financial toll of diabetes is staggering with direct medical costs from diabetes reaching $116 billion. The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.
Puckett encourages anyone needing individual assistance with diabetes or looking to attend a diabetes education classes to contact her at the Bingham Diabetes Resource Center at 208-782-3722.