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Thursday, November 07, 2013 - Hospital Helps Area Diabetics Manage Their Disease

Paul Oliver Offers Counseling for People with Diabetes
A diabetes support group also meets the third Monday of each month

Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital offers help for area residents diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Statistics show that 10.4 percent of the Benzie County population has diabetes. The county also has an obesity rate of more than 30 percent. Obesity often contributes to Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of the disease may include frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, extreme hunger, blurred vision, dry skin, slow healing wounds and cuts, and increased infections.

Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital’s Lynette Maxey, RD, CDE, or Meghan Raymond, RD, are available to provide diabetes education through individual counseling sessions or a class for those diagosed with prediabetes the second Thursday of each month at noon. They also lead a diabetes support group from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month.

“During counseling sessions I obtain a patient’s diet history, their goals, as well as their physician’s goals, and put together an appropriate diet,” Maxey said. “If they have a heart condition, I’ll teach them about fat and how to eliminate fat in their diet. If they need a low sodium diet, we will plan for that. Whatever the individual needs are, I will cover.”

Patients need a referral from their primary care physician for insurance to cover the cost of the counseling session or sessions. Typically, in addition to providing important diet information, a session will include how to use a glucose meter, helpful physical exercises, and the need to watch for complications of the disease.

Left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, heart conditions, foot complications, skin complications, high blood pressure, mental health issues, hearing loss, oral health problems, digestion problems, and kidney failure.

Appointments may be made through the hospital’s central scheduling line at (231) 352-2260.