Diabetes Education: Why It’s Important

guest February 29th, 2012, 3:16 PM
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This guest blog was written by Margery Kirsch, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Diabetes Educator.

A 60-year-old Mexican-American can’t imagine a day without his mealtime staples, rice and beans. The parents of an 8-year-old girl believe their daughter’s life is now over. Two West Coast residents can’t stop worrying about their 80-year-old mother, who lives alone in Chinatown. All of these people are dealing with newly diagnosed diabetes.

As diabetes educators, we know that teaching patients and family members about the disease and taking away their fears (yes, you can eat rice and beans as long as it’s in moderation) helps individuals overcome the challenges that diabetes may present. We aim to assure people with diabetes that they can live healthy and normal lives.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing to epidemic levels. In 2009, it was estimated that 12.5% of the adult population in New York City has diabetes. That number continues to grow dramatically. In the same year, diabetes was the leading medical diagnosis for admission to VNSNY services, which is why the Centers of Excellence created a unique education program called the VNSNY Diabetes Community Program.  This program will teach those with diabetes about managing their disease through community classes.

This diabetes self-management training will include sessions on taking medications correctly, eating a balanced diet, and living a healthy lifestyle – all important components in helping participants make a difference as they battle this epidemic. Look for these classes to be rolled out later this year.

In the meantime, we teach people with diabetes how to live fuller and healthier lives every day. Read more about our services for people with diabetes and our information for living with diabetes.

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