The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Managing diabetes means alerting others

By Amad Ami/reporter

NE students learned ways to support those who live with diabetes and the importance of diabetics communicating their needs to friends and family in the final chapter of the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program Nov. 1.Gayle Hanson, a diabetes advocate working for John Peter Smith Hospital, discussed the importance of people with diabetes keeping friends and family aware of their needs.

“Do you know enough about their condition? You need to know what to do to help them,” she said.

Diabetics should ask directly for help from friends and family, Hanson said. It is important to tell them about experiences and to teach them about diabetes, she said.

Hanson said a good way to involve friends and family is to have everyone stay healthy together.

“Everyone benefits from exercising and healthy eating,” she said.

Hanson also spoke on patients’ rights. Patients are protected against abuse, fraud and discrimination, she said. Hanson said the patient has the right to appeal if any service is denied.

“Health is a universal right. Treatment cannot be denied,” she said.

Hanson also revisited topics from the previous DEEP lectures.

It is important to treat the body well, she said. Hanson said diabetes affects many parts of the body, including the brain.

Diabetes affects the brain indirectly when it damages the blood vessels and directly when it causes a stroke, she said.

The disease also targets the pancreas, kidney, bladder, lungs and bones, Hanson said.

“When diabetes targets your lungs, it results in pneumonia. When it targets the bones, you get osteoporosis,” she said.

It is important to exercise and get a flu shot because diabetes targets so many of the body’s parts, Hanson said.

She also told students it was important to check blood sugar levels multiple times a day.

“The normal range is between 60 to 100. I know people whose blood sugar levels have gotten up to 400 to 500,” she said.

Hanson has worked with DEEP since August. She became a diabetes advocate because she suffers from diabetes herself.

“I wanted to be more informed so I could take better care of myself,” she said.

NE student Ryan Farrell attended the speech because his mother is diabetic.

“I didn’t know much about her condition before this. The speech really helped me understand what she goes through and how I can take care of her,” Farrell said.

Carol Fore, a NE student, attended the speech for extra credit.

“I don’t know any diabetics, but I think if I do meet one, this speech will help me understand more about them,” Fore said.

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