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HAMC raises diabetes awareness

By Staff | Nov 21, 2018

Cathy Jelsing/HAMC Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Kathy Brandt (right) meets with patient Reannie May.

In recognition of National Diabetes Month in November, Heart of America Medical Center is raising awareness about the importance of healthy eating, healthy weight, and knowing the risks for developing the disease.

A press release by HAMC’s Cathy Jelsing outlined the ways practitioners empower patients to take control of their health and fight diabetes.

Jelsing said the most important tool patients get from HAMC to manage their condition is education.

“Approximately one in 10 Americans has diabetes; one in four don’t know they have it, and more than one in three adults in this country has prediabetes,” Jelsing wrote in the release.

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Kathy Brandt, who provides classes in diabetes management to patients at HAMC, said in the release, “Heart of America Medical Center is committed to diabetes education. We’ve had an accredited diabetes education program since 2012.”

Jelsing said HAMC also provides tips for patients diagnosed with prediabetes.

“Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes usually doesn’t cause symptoms, so the only way to know you have it is if your blood sugar levels are tested,” Jelsing wrote.

HAMC also raises awareness on the importance of knowing the risks for developing diabetes.

“Among those at greater risk of becoming diabetic are individuals who are overweight or obese, are 45 and older, have high blood pressure, have immediate family members with diabetes, or had diabetes during pregnancy,” Jelsing wrote.

Jelsing cited patient Reannie May, who began receiving help from Dr. Eric Johnson of Altru Health System in Grand Forks.

Johnson partners with HAMC’s telemedicine program to treat patients in the Rugby area.

May said her uncontrolled diabetes, which had caused nerve damage in her feet, improved in a matter of months.

“After a few short months of working with Kathy (Brandt) and Dr. Johnson, my sugar levels were normal. I had been trying for years before that with no success. They are quite a team,” May said in the release.

Brandt offers both group and individual classes for diabetes patients.

HAMC’s next diabetes education classes will be held in the Sunrise Room on December 4 and 18, both at 1 p.m. For more information, or to register, contact Brandt at (701) 776-5455.

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