Diabetes: Are You 1 of 20,000 Undiagnosed Rhode Islanders?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
In Rhode Island, the toll continues to mount: more than 60,000 Rhode Islanders have the disease, and 20,000 are considered to have it but have not yet been diagnosed, according to Care New England. The impact is already keenly felt: more than 1 in every 5 patients admitted to Rhode Island Hospital and other major hospitals in RI have diabetes.
Fifth leading cause of death
The disease is now the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, contributing to more than 200,000 deaths a year. It hauls a dark moribidity in its wake: 2-5x increase in coronary artery disease, 2-3x increase in stroke, 20x increase in blindness, 25x increase in kidney failure, and 40x increase in amputation.
Unsure? Get screened this week... free
As part of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is holding two upcoming wellness screening events to check cholesterol and glucose levels. There is no charge for the screenings and all members of the public are invited to participate.
Wednesday, November 16, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Calcutta Middle School, 112 Washington Street, Central Falls
Thursday, November 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Clinica Esperanza, 60 Valley Street, Providence
This wellness screening provides a fast and convenient look at vital health indicators, including total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol) and glucose (blood sugar). Fasting is not required.
More local resources
For those at risk (or who are not yet diagnosed), the state provides a variety of screening and support services.
RI Hospital's Hallett Center: specialized services + courses
At RI Hospital, the Hallett Center is the state's first comprehensive, academic diabetes and endocrinology center: a 40+ member team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, researchers, and diabetes educators. The center includes an outpatient facility as well as patient education and inpatient services. A unique Saturday class, "Jump-Start Your Diabetes," meets every week. Other courses run six weeks in afternoon and evening sessions. For more, call 444-8222.
Care New England Wellness Center: consultations + education
At this Warwick-based location, a Diabetes Outpatient Education program meets for 1.5 hours once a week over a 5 week period, and includes an individual appointment with a nurse practitioner and registered dietitian. The program includes:
- Pre-screening and individual goal setting
- What is diabetes?
- Diet planning
- Alcohol and eating out
- High and low blood sugar
- Monitoring blood sugar and ketones
- Sick day rules
- Insulin and other anti-diabetic drugs
- Insulin injection
- Risk factors and complications
- Foot care and hygiene
- Taking control of diabetes through your lifestyle
- Stress and psychological factors in diabetes
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