Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease. In Missouri alone, diabetes affects more than 420,000 people, and in Pike County, more than 1,500 people have the disease.
November is National Diabetes Month, and Pike County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) is changing the way diabetes is treated by working together to help people better understand how to make the necessary changes in their day-to-day life in order to prevent type two diabetes, manage their diabetes to prevent complications and live healthier lives.
“Even if you know what to do to improve your health, figuring out how to do it and fitting it into your daily routine can be a big challenge,” said Marie Niemeyer, PCMH Dietician and Diabetic Counselor. “That’s why it’s important to set goals and make a plan to prevent type two diabetes or manage diabetes to prevent complications.”
This National Diabetes Month, PCMH is working to help people make a change to live well by bringing behavior change tools to the community—tools to help people better understand how to make healthy changes in their day-to-day life.
Some of these tools include a diabetic support group, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month in the PCMH dining room.
Niemeyer is also available for dietary consultation to help those who have diabetes learn to live with the disease. Barb Long, patient navigator for Eastern Missouri Health Services (EMHS), a service of PCMH, provides assistance to diabetics who are EMHS patients and/or involved with the diabetic support group. In addition, PCMH and EMHS hosted a diabetic clinic in the PCMH lobby on Nov. 7.
“Many people who are pre-diabetic may not even know they can make changes in their daily life to prevent this debilitating disease,” said Niemeyer. “If you have some of the signs of pre-diabetes, make sure you get your blood sugar checked so you can make changes for a better life.”