Fighting diabetes is a team effort

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chronic disease is a problem in Beaufort County.

In its 2015 State of the County Health report, the Beaufort County Health Department listed chronic disease as one of the leading causes of death. Heart disease, for example, is responsible for more than 23 percent of deaths in the county from 2009-2013, according to the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics.

Diabetes, another chronic disease, is No. 7 on the list of causes of death, and the health department designated it as one of its top priorities to confront and combat.

The report reads: “The rate of diabetes mellitus mortality in North Carolina decreased gradually from 2001 to 2013; however, Beaufort County’s diabetes rates have been higher than North Carolina’s averages since 2007, with a significant increase from 2008 to 2013.”

Although many residents struggle with diabetes, there are also many resources of which they can take advantage.

The health department runs a Diabetes Self-Management Education program for those with Type II diabetes, the most common type of diabetes in which the body does not use insulin as it should.

The DSME program offers individual or group sessions and teaches patients about managing meals, medications and monitoring blood sugar.

Vidant Beaufort Hospital is involved with diabetes education and support groups, as well.

Tackling another angle of the disease, Beaufort County Health Department also hosted its Shine a Light on Diabetes 5K Glow Run last Saturday in an attempt to raise awareness.

Shine a Light had a good turnout on Saturday, and that goes to show how serious the county is about kicking diabetes in the teeth.

The bottom line is that combating diabetes is a team effort — a community-wide effort. Just as it takes medical professionals, passionate neighbors and one-on-one support to beat cancer or lung disease, the same is true for diabetes.

To all parties involved in the fight: keep it going.