Doha 29th August 2013: Diabetes patient educators, who are specialist nurses and certified diabetes professionals direct every patient diagnosed at new Diabetes Center of Hamad General Hospital, how to live well with the illness.
“We work closely with our patients to set goals for maintaining their blood sugar level, and we meet with them regularly to check if they are meeting these goals and maintaining them,” said Mrs. Manal Othman, Senior Diabetes Educator.
Diabetes is a complex state which can lead to debilitating long-term complications and severe sickness. The diabetes has reached epidemic proportion in the country with about 17 percent of the adult population thought to have disease, and another 11 percent supposed to be pre-diabetic.
Educators teach patients how to use their medication, whether it is in the form of tablets or insulin injections. They also teach them how to balance the dosage depending on their blood glucose level.
“We help our patients learn how to recognize the symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels and what to do when they suspect complications,” says Mrs. Othman.
She added that most patients don’t carry a blood sugar meter with them. So it is necessary for them to understand the symptoms of possible problems, such as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Educators instruct patients on how to include physical activity into their lifestyle. They stress the important role physical exercise plays in controlling blood sugar and also teach about herbal remedies.
“Patients can use natural herbs like cinnamon, fenugreek, Indian cucumber and olive leaves to reduce blood sugar levels. However, we advise them not to take any commercial products, even those that claim to be 100% natural, since these products may contain dangerous chemicals,” Mrs. Othman said.
Education also comprises diabetic foot care, traveling, haj and fasting. ”If a patient is dedicated to managing their diabetes, they can live a long and healthy life,” Othman added.