Diabetes awareness important for Native Americans

BY JAMI MURPHY
Former Reporter
10/02/2009 07:07 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Diabetes Preview








Checking blood<br />         sugar is a key to maintaining diabetes. To test blood sugar, one pricks a<br />         finger and puts a drop of blood in a glucose monitor to test glucose levels. (Photo by Jami Custer)
Checking blood sugar is a key to maintaining
diabetes. To test blood sugar, one pricks a finger and puts a drop of blood in
a glucose monitor to test glucose levels. (Photo by Jami Custer)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a perfect time for Native Americans to become aware of the disease since it strikes them hard.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 12.2 percent of the Native Americans over the age of 19 living in the U.S. has type 2 diabetes. That type is generally found in adults and treated with insulin. However, more and more Native youths are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Cherokee Nation citizen Josh Eller was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001 on his 19th birthday. He said it showed up “out of the blue” and completely rearranged his life.

“I had to pretty much re-teach myself how to eat and drink because I couldn’t eat or drink the stuff I was used to…that was probably the most difficult (to adjust to),” he said.

Eller said after being diagnosed he gained weight because his body wasn’t producing the insulin it needed to push sugar into his muscles.

“When I started taking insulin it (pancreas) started working right again,” he said.

According to Diabetes World, the pancreas produces enzymes that aid in the digestive process and converts sugar to energy. It secretes enzyme and hormones, including insulin, that are needed for the digestion and absorption of food.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce or secrete sufficient quantities of insulin.

He noticed a problem when he exercised one day and felt completely ran down the next. He had difficulty waking and frequent urination, two symptoms of diabetes. This went on for two months, he said, before going to a doctor and discovering the cause.

According to the ADA, type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes. First, one must inherit a predisposition to the disease and second, something in the environment must trigger diabetes.

In most cases of type 1 diabetes, one needs to inherit risk factors from both parents. Type 1 diabetes is less common in people who were breastfed and in those who first ate solid foods at later ages. In many people, the development of type 1 diabetes seems to take many years.

Type 2 diabetes has a stronger genetic basis than type 1, yet it also depends more on environmental factors. It is common in people who have too much fatty food in their diet. Obesity is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes and is the most risky for young people and those who have been obese for a long time.

According to the ADA, women who get diabetes while they are pregnant are more likely to have a family history of diabetes, especially on their mothers’ side. But as in other forms of diabetes, non-genetic factors play a role. Older mothers and overweight women are more likely to get gestational diabetes.

Eller said there were many people in his family with diabetes, but their cases were type 2 whereas his was considered to be juvenile diabetes or type 1.

He said he treats his diabetes with an insulin pump, not shots. But many people require taking insulin shots. In other cases, people may have to take oral medications. Also, some diabetics can monitor their blood sugar, make specific changes to their diet and exercise to keep from aggravating the disease.

“If they can change it with diet they need to do it…get checked every three months and always check their blood sugar…and watch their weight,” Eller said.

According to the ADA, the only cure for diabetes is to have a pancreas transplant – a procedure that is only done for insulin-dependent diabetics suffering from complications. For the majority of diabetics, the condition can only be controlled through medication, diet and exercise.

“The first month was awful, I went from not having to worry about anything to worrying about everything,” he said. “Just keep your head up, it will get easier.”


Type 1 diabetes
Usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 is most common form of diabetes. Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. When eating, the body breaks down the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it causes cells to starve for energy and over time high blood glucose levels may hurt the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Nutrition
People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Along with exercise and medications, nutrition is important for good diabetes control, according to the American Diabetes Association. By eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts, diabetics can thrive.

Symptoms
• Frequent urination
• Excessive thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Unusual weight loss
• Increased fatigue
• Irritability
• Blurry vision

Treatment
• Monitor your blood sugar regularly. Adjustments in diet, medication and exercise can be made accordingly.
• Stick to the monitoring protocol prescribed by your doctor. Generally, blood is monitored before meals and at bedtime.
• Utilize blood testing. In the past, urine testing was more common, but blood is more accurate. New and improved ways to test blood are being developed all the time. Check with your doctor, your pharmacist or the company that manufactures your monitoring equipment.
• Take your medication as prescribed, whether it is insulin or an oral drug.
• Develop a personal meal plan that you will stick with. Speak with a nutritionist or a diabetic educator and be candid about your food likes and dislikes.
• Stay on your meal plan. Explore new foods, but keep track of how they affect you.
• Eat carbohydrates that supply plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as fresh vegetables and fruit. Save sugary foods for special occasions.
• Lose weight if you are overweight. Losing weight can make a big difference in your treatment plan. Many people are able to eliminate or reduce the amount of medication needed - or avoid needing it in the first place - once they take the weight off.
• Speak with your doctor if your program doesn't appear to be keeping your blood sugar under control.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ-- ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᎪᏗᏓ ᎤᎾᏖᎳᎰᏏᏓᏍᏗ ᏄᏅᎿ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ ᎧᎸᎢ. ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏟᎢᎶᎮ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ, ᎤᎪᏗᏓ ᎤᏃᎵᏥᏓᏍᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏍᏓᏱ ᎤᏅᏂᎵᏙᎰ ᎯᎠ ᎥᏳᎩ.
 
ᏴᏩᏁᎬ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᏧᎾᏙᎳᏤᎸᎯ 12.2 ᎢᎦᏛ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏁᎯ. ᎠᎹᏴᏟ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᏱᏧᎾᏖᏗᏴᏓ ᏩᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏃᏍᏗ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ.
 
ᏧᎾᏓᎾ ᎤᎬᏯᏳᏍᏐ ᎤᏟᎢᎦ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ. ᎨᏐᎢ ᎠᎴ (insulin) ᏅᏬᏘ ᎨᏥᏁᎸ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ. ᎠᏍᏎᏃ, ᏃᏊ ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎨᏥᏩᏛᏒ ᏗᎪᎥ ᏔᎵ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲ.
 
Josh Eller ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎡᎯ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎤᏄᏖᏗᏴᎭ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏍᎯᏧᏈ ᏌᏊ ᎤᏓᏗᏴᏍᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎦᏕᎳᎰᎯᏎᎴ ᏗᎪᎥ ᏔᎵ. ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏳᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏝᏳᏓᎢ ᎠᎿ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᏁᏟᏴᏒᎴ ᎡᎲᎢ.
 
ᎠᎩᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏅ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎦᎵᏍᏓᏴᎲᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎦᏗᏔᎲᎬᎢ. ᎢᎦᏃ ᏍᏓᏱ ᎾᏆᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏯᏆᏛᏗᎢ.
 
ᎦᎳᏃ ᎠᏥᏩᏛᎡᎸ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎤᎴᏅᎮ ᎤᏁᏉᏤᎲᎢ ᏄᏓᎨᏒᎢ. ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᎠᏓᏄᎲᏍᎨ ᏧᏩᏚᏃ ᏭᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ. Insulin Ꮭ ᏱᎪᏢᏍᎨ ᎠᏰᎸᎢ. “Pancreas Insulin ᎪᏢᏍᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏭᏓᎴᏅᎮ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎲᎢ. (Insulin) ᏅᏬᏘ ᎠᏯᎴᏅᎭ ᎬᏗᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨ.
 
ᎡᎶᎯ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁ ᏧᎾᏙᏔᏤᎸᎯ, pancreas ᎠᏙᏢᏍᎪ enzyme- ᎣᏬᏝᏅ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎦᏣᏄᎵᎨ ᎤᏟᎢᎸᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎧᎵᏍᏎᏥ ᏭᏓᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᎸ ᎤᏞᏂᎪᎯᏗᎢ.ᎠᎴ ᏫᏚᏲᏍᎪᎯ Enzyme ᎠᎴ hormones Insulin ᎬᏩᎶᏍᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎤᎧᏲᏙᏗ.
 
ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᏗ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᎬ ᎤᏕᎳᏲᏍᏎ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏓᏓᎴᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏯᏪᏨᏅᎯ ᏄᏩᏁᎮᎢ.
 
ᎤᏄᏟᎶᏍᎬ ᎤᏰᏥᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏳᏓᎵᎭᏭ ᏙᏱ ᎠᏨᏍᎬᎢ, ᏔᎵ ᎠᏕᎳᎰᎯᏍᏙᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎣᏪᎲᎢ. ᎯᎢᎾ ᏔᎵ ᏱᏅᏓ ᎤᎯᎵᏎᏎᎢ ᎤᏛᏁᎢ ᎩᎳᏅ ᎦᎾᎬᏗᎢ ᎤᏪᏤᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏕᎳᎰᏎᎢ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ. ᏅᏓᎴᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏅ Ꮎ ADA ᏗᎪᎥᎢ ᏌᏊ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᎥᎢ ᏔᎵ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ. ᏂᏚᏓᎴ ᏂᎦᏍᏓᏁᎬ ᎦᎳ ᎤᏪᎰᎢ. ᎾᏅ Ꮎ ᎥᏳᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵᏁᏃᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎲᎢ ᏂᎬᏂᏏᏍᎨᎢ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏪᎲᎢ.
 
ᎪᏪᎸ ADA ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎲ ᏗᏂᏁᎳᏗ ᎠᎯᏗᎨ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎸᎵᏎᏥ

ᏧᏟᎵᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎤᏂᏥᏏ ᏭᎾᏓᏱᎶᏐ ᎠᏍᏃ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎧᎵᏎᎦ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏓᏛᏂ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗ.
ᎠᏂᎦᏴᎵᎨ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᎨᏓ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᎯᏗᎨ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗ .
 
Eller ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎰᎢ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏗᎪᎥ ᏔᎵ ᎤᏩᏌᏍᎩᏂ ᏗᏂᏲᏓ ᏧᏁᎰ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏪᎲᎩ ᏗᎪᎥ ᏌᏊ. ᎠᏅᏫᏍᎬ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏪᎲ Ꮎ insulin ᎦᎾᏅᎪᏫᏍᏗᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᏱᏓᏓᏣᏲᎯᏙᎢ.
 
ᎤᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ:
ᏴᏫ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎲ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎪ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᎾᎵᎩᏐᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏛᎢ ᎾᏓᎦᎵᏍᏩᏙᏗᏍᎬ ADA.
ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏁᎬᎢ:
• ᎪᎯ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ ᎠᏨᏍᎪᎢ
• ᎤᎪᏗᏓ ᎤᏂᏔᏕᎩᏍᎪᎢ
• ᎢᎦ ᏚᏂᏲᏏᏍᎪ
• ᎤᎾᏓᎨᏒ ᎤᏟᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏲᏎᎭᎢ
• ᎠᎯᏓ ᏧᎾᏍᏓᏱᎯᏍᏗᎢ
• ᎠᎯᏓ ᎤᏂᏔᎳᏩᎯᏍᏗᎢ
• ᏗᏂᎨᏫᏍᎪ

ᏣᎦᏛᎲᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎩᎦ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎢᎦ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎯᏍᏓᏴᎲᏍᎬ ᏣᎦᏎᏍᏕᏍᏗ, ᏅᏬᏘ ᎲᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ. ᎾᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ ᏣᏃᎯᏎᎲ ᎦᎾᎦᏘ. ᎩᎦ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎲᏍᎪ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏅᎾ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎵᏟᏅᏨᎾ.
• ᏅᏬᏔ ᎯᎩᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᏣᏁᎮᎢ
• ᎰᏢᏅᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏣᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ
• ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏗ ᏕᏧᎪᏔᏅ ᎾᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ
• ᎠᏓᏛᏍᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏤᏳᏍᏗ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎠᎪᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏍᏗ
• ᎭᏓᎴᏐᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎯᎳᏦᎯᏓ ᎢᎨᏎᏍᏗ
• ᎢᏣᏄᎸᎮᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎡᎳᏗ ᎢᏨᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᏤᎲᎢ ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᎯᎵᏃᎮᏔᏅᎢ

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