HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Everyone tends to overdo it on Thanksgiving. But, a growing number of people will have to watch what they eat this extra carefully because they have Diabetes. For our Monthly Checkup Segment we headed to a Diabetes management class at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. It's to teach pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes how to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Nurses coach them on taking glucose measurements, counting carbs and watching portion size to keep levels from spiking. The 'Sweeter Choice' program signs up 3 new patients every day. Expectant Mom Fanny Lee learned she'll have to cut down on a local staple- white rice.
"I learned rice today was 1/3 of a bowl portion only," said Lee. "So it's like ok i have to really cut down on that."
Like others in the course, she'll follow a diabetic diet rich in fruit-- salad-- and protein to protect her baby. Through her pregnancy, she'll write down her results in a book and report back.
"I think diet is a crucial part as well as compliance," explains Dr. George Graham.
Debbie Silva knows that well. She's been living with diabetes for 18 years and isn't perfect.
"I do sometimes eat plate lunch," confesses Silva. "But I take insulin and I've got to work out of course."
She keeps her insulin constant with a pump that looks like a pager that releases insulin at intervals.
"It's a fascinating balance that the body must maintain," stresses Dr. Rio Banner, Medical Director for AlohaCare.
Diabetics have to control insulin explains Dr. Banner because "when it gets too low, people get dizzy can lose unconsciousness. If it gets too high, it affects vision, and it gets blurry." Diabetes is a growing problem statewide.
The latest statistics according to Dr. Banner, "I think for Hawaii it's about 10 percent where on the Mainland it's about 6 percent so it's a major issue for us."
It is Diabetes awareness month.
Some key ways to prevent or control diabetes:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit carbs and sugar
- Eat more smaller meals throughout the day
- Exercise to keep blood sugars steady