Diabetes, Genetics, and Warning Signs
In this debut edition of "Ask an Educator," find out the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the role hereditary plays in the development of the disease.
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Theresa Garnero and I have been a nurse for 18 years. I have a Master of Science in Nursing and am an Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse, Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. In addition, I am a Certified Diabetes Educator and was recently selected as the 2004-2005 National Diabetes Educator of the Year. I am one of the 10,000 interdisciplinary members of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), which includes all types of physicians, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and nurses. I am the Director of Diabetes Services at Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, California and enjoy being a resource to the virtual community of people with diabetes.
Beyond the alphabet soup of my official title, I am also an internationally-published diabetes cartoonist. Some of my cartoons were awarded the Allene Van Son Award for best diabetes education tool by the AADE at our national convention in 2004. To set the record straight, I do not think there is anything funny about diabetes. I do feel, however, that the human condition lends itself to humorous situations. My attempt in using humor is to emphasize the positive and employ what research has proven, and we've known all along: laughter is the best medicine. Laughter helps the immune system, reduces stress, lowers glucose levels, and creates a host of positive effects for our bodies.
I am dedicated to the diabetes community and will do my very best to answer your questions. Fortunately, we have researchers working diligently to find solutions to the ever-changing world of diabetes management. As I travel the country to speak with other diabetes educators about using humor to promote diabetes self-management, I will keep your questions in mind and collaborate nationally with my peers to provide you with heartfelt answers. My commitment is to provide science-based diabetes information in a positive light. So without further ado, here's the first question from our dLife readers:
Q. "I have diabetes. What are the chances of my kids developing it? Are there any warning signs I should look for?"
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...