Humboldt General Hospital Celebrates National Diabetes Month

Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. today, according to the American Diabetes Association, and another 86 million people have prediabetes and are at risk for developing the disease.

In fact, recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless preventative measures are taken.

November is National Diabetes Month and Humboldt General Hospital is doing its part to raise diabetes awareness and to promote prevention.

“This disease is so prevalent today,” said HGH Nutrition Services Director Tiffani Nalivka, “that perhaps we are downplaying the toll it is taking on the health of our community, our state and our nation.”

Nalivka said diabetes nearly doubles the risk for heart attack and for death from heart disease. She said it is also the leading cause of kidney failure, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among working-age adults.

Additionally, the rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

“Every 19 seconds, someone is going to get diagnosed with this disease,” she said, “so our work is cut out for us.”

Nalivka and HGH Wellness Coordinator Billie Lucero are spearheading several measures this month aimed at helping prediabetics and diabetics access the information and help they need to slow the disease’s progression.

Throughout the month of November, Humboldt General Hospital is offering the A1C Diabetes Screen for $25. The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the previous three months.

Nalivka said testing is especially important because early in the disease, diabetes has no symptoms.

“So testing enables healthcare providers to find and treat diabetes before complications occur, and to find and treat prediabetes, which can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from developing,” she said.

Those interested in getting screened may check in at the hospital’s front desk anytime from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $25, payable by cash, check or credit card; unfortunately, insurance is not accepted for this special-price testing.

Screening results will be sent directly to patients, who are then encouraged to share them with their healthcare providers.

In addition to the A1C screening, Nalivka said she and others will host a “Diabetes Checkpoint” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, near the grocery entrance to Wal-Mart. Nalivka said her team will be armed with information on diabetes and can answer questions regarding screening and prevention, and provide information on local resources.

On Tuesday, November 17, Nalivka will offer a preview of the hospital’s popular “Living Well with Diabetes” class. Residents of all ages are invited to join in from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the HGH Sonoma Conference Room to sample the class’s wide range of topics, from disease risks and monitoring blood sugar, to creating meal plans, remaining active, managing medications and more.

Also, on Tuesday, November 17, Humboldt General Hospital will celebrate National Healthy Lunch Day by offering a delicious and diabetes-friendly lunch in the HGH Corner Café from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $3.50. Bring a friend.

Finally, on Thursday, November 19, Humboldt General Hospital’s monthly “Healthy Year, Healthy You” presentation will focus on “Sleep and Diabetes.” Participants will enjoy a free lunch and discussion from noon to 1 p.m. in the HGH Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room; there is no cost to attend.

“We are excited to share with our community how to prevent and control this disease,” said Nalivka.

She added, “The good news is that this disease is easily impacted by simple measures, such as healthy eating, exercise, making positive lifestyle changes, and monitoring key indicators, so a little bit of change can go a long way.”

For more information on the National Diabetes Month activities planned for Humboldt General Hospital, please call HGH Nutrition Services Director Tiffani Nalivka at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1756, or email at nalivkat@hghospital.org.

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