Title: Edenton Lions Welcome Katie Hall, RN, BSN, Quality Nurse Specialist

Authors: Gloria Maser and Mechelle Haney, Edenton Lions Reporters

On November 28, 2022, The Edenton Lions Club welcomed Registered Nurse, Katie Hall. Ms. Hall is ECU’s Quality Nurse Specialist for Bertie and Chowan counties. She shared her experience-based diabetes knowledge with the members.

Katie explained that diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. The body breaks down most of the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into the bloodstream. Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. With diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes.

When there is insufficient insulin or cells are unresponsive, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of complications to include heart diseasekidney disease and vision loss.

Ms. Hall explained that 13% of the adult population of Chowan County has diabetes. That figure is 1% higher than our state’s average and exceeds the national average by more than 2%.

In addition to the toll this disease takes on the health of our families and communities, it is a heavy financial burden. Every year, diabetes costs the state of North Carolina $10.6 billion. According to the American Diabetic Association, in 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes nationally was $327 billion. This disease costs us dearly at every level.

There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, and is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. The Type 1 diabetic must take insulin daily to survive.

The Type 2 diabetic does not use insulin well and cannot maintain a normal level of blood sugar. It is usually diagnosed in adults, develops gradually, and symptoms may not be noticeable. Type 2 can be prevented or delayed by weight loss, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in an active lifestyle. Type 2 diabetics may also need to take oral medication or insulin.

Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women and the unborn child. This type of diabetes presents without symptoms. Pregnant women should be evaluated for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Symptoms of Types 1 and 2 can include extreme thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, extreme hunger, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, extreme fatigue, dry skin, slow healing wounds and increased infections. Type 2 symptoms may appear slowly or not at all. Diagnostic testing—a fasting blood sugar or A1C test conducted by a physician—will detect Type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal but insufficient for a diabetes diagnosis. Being prediabetic places one at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is the seventh highest cause of death in the United States. In some cases, symptoms may appear slowly, or there may be no symptoms at all.

Ms. Hall closed her presentation by providing the contact information for the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383).


Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online