Diabetes rates for several of Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties have been rising for several years and they now approach — and in some cases, exceed — 10 percent. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst or hunger, frequent urination, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, frequent infections and areas of darkened skin.
According to Trish Rosenberry, director, Clinical and Ambulatory Services at UM Shore Regional Health, the rising rate of diabetes is compounded by a lack of public awareness of the disease and its potential effects. “More than 25 percent of people who have diabetes have no symptoms and therefore are undiagnosed, so they are unaware that they have the disease and may be experiencing damage to their vascular system, heart, eyes, kidneys and limbs,” Rosenberry says. “At the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, our physicians, nurse practitioners and nurse educators encourage anyone who has symptoms to seek prompt medical attention. We are here to help with diagnosis, treatment and support.”
In observance of National Diabetes Awareness Month, University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology is offering free events during November in Chestertown and Easton for those interested in learning more about risk factors for diabetes and prediabetes, treatment and disease management.
“Food Shopping for Health,” a guided grocery store tour designed to teach those with diabetes or pre-diabetes how to shop and plan for meals that will promote optimal health, is set for 5:30 p.m., Monday, November 11, at Giant Food, 8993 Elliott Road. Led by diabetes educator Karen Hollis, this tour is designed to show participants how to “shop smart” and select foods that will help them avoid complications.
“A diabetes diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but there are shopping strategies to help you plan menus and fill your cart with the right foods to maintain your best health,” says Hollis.“We’ve done this tour a few years now and the participants always say they had fun while learning useful strategies for preparing healthy, tasty meals.”
The tour will be limited to 10 participants; to RSVP, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5188.
The Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology’s annual Diabetes Awareness Open House is scheduled for Friday, November 15, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. The Open House enables patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes to meet and talk with the Center’s physicians, nurse practitioners and educators, and also with vendors offering diabetes care products.
The event, which is open to the public, also will include special presentations, including a healthy food prep demonstration, special topic talks by diabetes care providers and educators, games, vendor tables and light refreshments. Valet parking is available at the Outpatient Center Entrance on the south side of the hospital.
In Chestertown, diabetes nurse educator Chrissy Nelson will join the Lions Club in a booth at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, November 9, with the theme, “Lions Raising Awareness of Diabetes.” On Tuesday, November 26, at 6:30 p.m., the Chestertown Diabetes Support Group meeting will be open to the public and will feature guest speaker Maela Rider, State Health Insurance Coordinator for Upper Shore Aging in Kent County. Rider’s topic will be “Understanding Medicare and Medicare Options for 2020.” The event also will include some local vendors promoting their services, including Kent County Parks and Recreation and Chester River Pharmacy, among others.
Interested community members also are welcome to attend Diabetes Support Group meetings held monthly in Cambridge, Denton and Easton. For meeting schedules and locations please call the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.