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Making Small Changes Can Help Control Diabetes

Pam Nichols RN, BSN, CDCES

LCO Community Health Center

My name is Pamela Nichols I am a Registered Nurse (RN) and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). I am happy to be a part of the LCO Community Health Clinic Diabetes Team.

The Diabetes Care Team includes: Providers (Doctors and Nurse Practitioners), the Dietician, Health Fitness Coach, Pharmacists, Nurses, and you! We all work together to assist you to achieve better health, so that you feel better.

Making small changes can help control and/or prevent pre-diabetes and diabetes. It is never too late to take some small steps to help improve your health and begin to feel better.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you may have diabetes:

· Increased hunger

· Increased thirst

· Increased urination

· Fatigue (feeling tired most of the time)

· Blurred vision

· Unexplained weight loss

A blood test can be done to show if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Some risk factors that increase your chances of getting diabetes are:

· Being physically inactive

· Being overweight

· Having a parent or sibling with diabetes

· Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy

There are many new tools available at LCO Health Center to help manage diabetes and can prolong getting pre-diabetes/diabetes. The basic tools are nutrition and physical activity. Decreasing pop or sugar drinks are one change that can help lower blood sugars. This step alone may be enough to prevent pre-diabetes/diabetes for some people. Adding an activity that you find enjoyable and starting with 5-15 minutes daily can help and is a great start. There are new medications available to help lower blood sugars. These medication options can be discussed with you to find out what works best for your individual situation and current health concerns and lifestyle.

One of the newer tools to help you and the team manage diabetes is the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). This is a blood sugar sensor that is placed on the back of your arm and can remain there for 14 days and allows you to check blood sugar readings from it as much as you would like, at least every 8 hours. It is a tool that can help you see how foods, activity, stress, etc... affect your blood sugar and this awareness can help you in making decisions. This is useful information for both you and your healthcare provider//team to evaluate if any therapy/treatments may need to be addressed for your individual care. If you are interested in participating in diabetes education and/or want to find out about the tools to help prevent or manage pre-diabetes/diabetes you can call LCO Health Center and schedule an appointment with your provider and/or ask them for a referral to see me. Hope to meet you soon.


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