•  Regional Center for Wound Care offers tips for diabetics

    Exercise is critical for people living with diabetes

    May is National Physical Fitness Month but for many people starting an exercise program can be daunting especially if they have health conditions that lead to inactivity, such as diabetes.
    There are an estimated 29.1 million people in the United States with diabetes. Physical activity can help manage and prevent diabetes. When a person is active, cells inside the body become more sensitive to insulin. Cells also remove glucose from the blood during exercise.
    “Consistently exercising can help lower blood glucose levels and improve A1C. With a lower A1C, patients may be able to take fewer diabetes medications or less insulin,” said Jennifer Fields, MS, FNP at Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care.
    In addition to helping diabetes, physical activity can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower risk for heart disease and stroke, lose or maintain healthy weight, increase energy, improve sleep, relieve stress, strengthen muscles and improve overall quality of life.
    Jennifer offers these exercise tips to people living with diabetes:
    • Before starting an exercise program, talk with your health care professional regarding any concerns or complications.
    • Check blood glucose before and after exercise to learn how your body responds. Those at risk for low blood glucose should have a source of carbohydrates nearby while exercising.
    • Since dehydration is often an issue with diabetes, it is important to drink water early and frequently when exercising.
    • For diabetics with reduced sensation, prolonged walking, jogging, using a treadmill and step exercises are not recommended. Instead, try swimming, bicycling, rowing, chair and arm exercises and other non-weight bearing activities.
    • Proper footwear is essential. The use of silica gel or air midsoles, as well as polyester or cotton/polyester socks, will help prevent blisters and keep feet dry.
    • There are many ways to increase physical activity besides formal exercise such as gardening, housecleaning and even marching in place or walking around the house during TV commercial breaks.
    Learning about exercise is one component of Rome Memorial Hospital’s free community diabetes classes for type 2 diabetics and their families. Patient and staff educator, Mary Rose Spellicy, RN teaches participants how to take charge of their diabetes with exercise, healthy eating, medication, measuring blood sugar, and protecting your feet and eyes.
    “Diabetes is one of the leading causes of chronic wounds,” Mary Rose added. “Neuropathy, a common co-morbidity of diabetes, is a result of damage to the peripheral nerves and can often cause weakness, numbness and pain in the extremities. Neuropathy can lead to chronic, non-healing wounds in some people affected by diabetes.”
    To learn about living with diabetes and exercise, register for Rome Memorial Hospital’s free community education class by calling the Education Department at (315) 338-7143.
    Patients with hard-to-heal wounds caused by diabetes seek specialized care from the experts at Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care. The center provides many types of advanced wound care services for problem wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) in the center’s two chambers for those wounds classified as a Wagners grade 3 or higher diabetic foot ulcer. The center also provides treatment for pressure ulcers and non-healing surgical wounds.
    For more information about diabetes, or to learn more about advanced wound care, call the Wound Center at (315) 338-7540. The center is located at 267 Hill Road at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park.