Nurses were a driving force behind a World Diabetes Day event Nov. 14, in which Californias state Capitol building was lit in blue. A circle of attendees holding blue glow sticks formed on the steps to create a united vision for diabetes awareness. A health fair also featured information about healthy living, diabetes prevention, and diabetes care.
A Dire Need
Nurses are encouraging one another to spread the word about diabetes education and prevention. Through a network of nurses in California, they hope to reverse the growing epidemic.To find a diabetes educator, visit www.diabeteseducator.org/DiabetesEducation/Find.html.
Kim Higgins, RN, CDE, is a past chairwoman for the Diabetes Coalition of California. In her more than 30 years as a diabetes educator, Higgins passion has been fueled by the escalating number of diabetes cases in America. She says there are not enough educators to go around, and the problem will only increase as diabetes numbers rise.
Type 2 diabetes is about prevention, she says. The big key is we can prevent it and stop the cycle in the next generation.
A Simple Plan
According to Deborah Greenwood, MeD, CNA, BC-ADM, CDE, patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes can prolong the prevention of type 2 diabetes by following guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Deborah Greenwood, RN, encourages the public about healthy eating during a Jazzercise demonstration.
The guidelines include:
Be physically active at least 30 minutes, five times a week.
Make healthy food choices.
Drink less sugar-sweetened beverages.
Lose 5% to 7% of body weight if needed.
See a healthcare provider on a regular basis.
Greenwood, the diabetes clinical nurse specialist and program coordinator for Sutter Medical Foundation, says that fortunately these guidelines are not insurmountable.
People think they dont have control over it, but simple lifestyle changes can prevent onset of diabetes.
Higgins suggests patients talk to a diabetes educator to identify risk factors, and remember not to feel isolated about their disease.
Its a simple message. We have to empower them in their health, she says. And nurses are the ones to empower them and bring this message to the forefront.
To find a diabetes educator, visit www.diabeteseducator.org.
For more information about Nov. 14, visit www.WorldDiabetesDay.org.