Diabetes clinic offers free services to A-state students
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 08:09
Students and faculty looking to learn more about diabetes and ways to prevent it have the option to attend a free clinic on campus.
A-State offers the free Diabetes Self-Management Program on the ground floor of the Reynolds building every Tuesday and Thursday for the entire academic year via appointment.
Pam Towery, program director in dietetics, said this service is offered to A-State students, faculty and families. She said the clinic offers information not only on diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, but also diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes) and metabolic syndrome.
At the clinic, registered nurses, physical therapists, registered dietitians, laboratory technicians and social workers are available for patients to meet. Towery said patients may not know that they have any form of diabetes, but would benefit just from asking questions about prevention and the possibility of developing the disease as some patients have done.
Towery said there are some steps that can be taken in the prevention of diabetes. Regular activity is required and a healthy diet helps. For instance, going all day without eating a meal until that night is not good for prevention, Towery said.
Towery also said people who are overweight can benefit greatly from losing just 10-15 percent of their body weight.
“If someone weighs 200 pounds, losing just 20 pounds can make a huge difference in reducing their risk of developing diabetes,” Towery said. “It can make a big difference in their risk factors.”
For Micah Prock, a freshman journalism major of Russellville, diabetes education and prevention is very personal.
Prock’s brother, Josiah Prock, is a sophomore in high school in Russellville and has Type 1 diabetes. On their vacation six years ago, Prock said their family noticed Josiah needing to urinate every 20 minutes. Once the family arrived at their hotel, Josiah was extremely exhausted and rather grouchy. That night, Josiah spent much of his time vomiting. The family knew something was wrong and after returning home, they took Josiah to the emergency room.
Assuming the symptoms were signs of diabetes, Prock said the hospital in Russellville was unable to do the testing there; instead, Josiah was sent to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock by ambulance.
The average blood sugar level is anywhere from 70-120. When checked into the hospital, Josiah’s was at 500.
Josiah was then confirmed for Type 1 diabetes. Prock said Josiah stays active in football to help battle the diabetes, and must also keep an eye on his diet.
“You would think out of all of us Josiah would be the last one to develop diabetes being so active and all,” Prock said.
Before eating a meal, Josiah has to calculate how much sugar he is taking in. Throughout the day, Prock said Josiah must stay conscious of how much he’s eaten to be sure the insulin that his pancreas produces will balance out. To help with this, Prock’s brother checks his blood sugar regularly and has a pump to inject insulin when he is in need.
Prock said it isn’t so much what Josiah eats, but keeping track of how much of sugar is in each item. He can still eat things such as pizza and ice cream, but in doing so, he intakes lower quantities of that kind of food and has to go through more trouble keeping track of the sugar.
Another serious threat Josiah faces because of diabetes is a common cold. Prock said anytime Josiah is sick, it can potentially be life threatening because his blood sugar level often shoots up to around 200.
Diabetes runs on both sides of Prock’s family. Prock said his mother’s brother developed Type 1 diabetes during his late 20s and his father’s mother also a diabetic.
With Prock having this issue in his family, he understands he needs to be aware of any future
symptoms that may occur.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. While Type 1 is typically referred to as juvenile diabetes, occurring in children up through their teens, it can sometimes be developed even in the mid to late 20s. Type 2 is often called non-insulin diabetes and affects “90 percent to 95 percent of the 26 million Americans with diabetes,” according to the WebMD website.
“In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin,” according to diabetes.org. Type 2 diabetes causes the body to produce higher blood sugar levels.
To schedule an appointment at the A-State diabetes clinic, call Nancy Clark at 972-3301or email Elizabeth Nix at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on diabetes visit www.diabetes.org.