Doctors Community Hospital is offering a free diabetes support group the third Monday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Joslin Circle is a support group for people who have diabetes and their families. Within a relaxed environment, participants can share their diabetes experiences and learn how to better manage it.
When: Third Monday of the Month; 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Doctors Community Hospital
8100 Good Luck Road; North Building; 5th Floor
Lanham, Maryland 20706
RSVP: 301-DCH-4YOU or 301-324-4968
Diabetes affects 25.8 million people or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, among Prince George’s County residents, those who have diabetes have a high rate of related emergency department visits. While many people have diabetes, some have challenges managing it. Education and support can help people better understand how diabetes works, the potential complications and management strategies.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, causing blood glucose or blood sugar levels to rise too high. There are two types of diabetes:
· Type 1 diabetes—the body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body to process the glucose found in food. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults.
· Type 2 diabetes—results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are ages 40 or older, overweight and have a family history of diabetes.
People who have diabetes frequently experience many of these symptoms:
· Extreme thirst
· Frequent urination
· Unexplained weight loss
· Increased hunger
· Blurry vision
· Tingling numbness in hands or feet
· Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
· Wounds that don’t heal
· Extreme fatigue
People who experience these symptoms should speak with their primary care physicians. In some cases, diabetes might not produce any symptoms or they come on so gradually that they may not be recognized; this happens occasionally with type 2 diabetes.
Poorly managed diabetes can lead to a host of long-term complications—among these are heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and blood vessel disease that may require an amputation or cause nerve damage and impotence in men.
There are certain things that everyone who has diabetes needs to do to be healthy:
· Follow a meal (eating) plan to get the right nutrients.
· Develop a physical activity plan, which can help the body process insulin by converting glucose into energy for cells.
· Visit a physician specialist (an endocrinologist or a diabetologist) at least once every six months. Also, meet with other members of the diabetes treatment team, including a diabetes nurse educator and a dietitian—who will help with the development of meal plans.
· Take medications as prescribed by a doctor. Some people who have type 2 diabetes take pills called “oral agents,” which help their bodies produce more insulin or better use the insulin they are producing. Others can manage type 2 diabetes through exercise and diet alone.
· Have yearly eye exams by an ophthalmologist to make sure that any optical problems associated with diabetes are caught early and treated before they become serious.
· Monitor blood glucose levels daily to determine how well the meal plans, activity plans and medications are working to keep blood glucose levels in a normal range.
For more information, please call 301-DCH-4YOU or 301-DCH-4968.