The Diabetes Branch of the Alabama Department of Public Health works in collaboration with many other programs within and outside of the Department to help people delay or prevent development of diabetes and to reduce complications related to the disease.
The program also promotes good nutrition, physical activity, weight loss and smoking cessation, recommended influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, foot exams, eye exams and HbA1c tests. These are key factors to control, prevent, delay, or manage diabetes and help people live longer, healthier lives.
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Diabetes in Minorities
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are at high risk for developing kidney failure due in part to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in these communities. Learn more about how diabetes affects minority groups.
Diabetes and Depression
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has started a campaign called "Living a Balanced Life with Diabetes" to help those suffering from the condition. Some of the campaign's resources include a depression checklist for physicians and one for patients, tips for taking care of yourself, and information on how loved ones can help someone suffering from diabetes. The NDEP has also released resources for those suffering from diabetes to help manage their medicines and a discussion guide for living well with diabetes.
Heart disease is the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely than those without diabetes to die of heart disease or have a stroke. About 70 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease. The following resources can help you learn more about the link between diabetes and heart disease and educate your employees on this vital topic.
Here is some information on how you can keep your teeth healthy.
Working Together to Manage Diabetes
Providers of Pharmacy, Podiatry, Optometry and Dentistry (PPOD) are well positioned to advise and educate patients about diabetes control and prevention. The PPOD Toolkit shows PPOD practitioners how they can work collaboratively with each other, as well as with all other members of the health care team, such as primary health care providers, physician assistants, nurse educators and community health workers, to promote better outcomes in people with diabetes.
Continuing Medical Education
University of Alabama School of Medicine and the Alabama Department of Public Health are jointly sponsoring up to two hours of free CMEs regarding diabetes and prediabetes in Alabama.
AMA/CDC Diabetes Prevention Initiative
The American Medical Association (AMA) has teamed up with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent type 2 diabetes and focus attention on prediabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Evidence-based programs to address prediabetes can prevent or delay progression to diabetes.
What can physician practices do right now? Start screening your patients for prediabetes to prevent diabetes before it starts and use the AMA/CDC diabetes prevention toolkit for health care providers to refer patients to Diabetes Prevention Programs.
Prevent Diabetes-STAT (Screen, Test, and Act Today)
Through Prevent Diabetes STAT, the AMA and CDC are sounding an alarm and shining a light on prediabetes as a serious medical condition.
Groups at high risk of diabetes, people with diabetes and pre-diabetics, including minority populations. Certain diabetes indicators are now being targeted by health care providers to help diagnose diabetes.
The Diabetes Branch and Alabama Diabetes Network
One of the responsibilities of the Diabetes Branch is to assess the impact of diabetes in Alabama and to develop recommendations, policies and programs that address related issues. The Alabama Diabetes Network, a group of diabetes advocates and experts from the public and private sectors, advises and supports the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Diabetes Program.
A Systems Thinking Approach
Alabama has recently begun using the “Systems Thinking” approach to address diabetes. “Systems Thinking” has been defined as a future-oriented problem-solving and decision making processes allowing stakeholders to view inter-relationships rather than cause-effect chains; the concept is proactive and manages the processes of change; promotes and facilitates organizational learning; is creative and flexible in identifying and evaluating alternatives, anticipates the consequences of actions and responses; and optimizes opportunities to improve health status of communities.
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