Posted on November 21, 2017

Between January 2016 and September 2017, over thirty thousand patients received diabetes education at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). According to Ms. Manal Othman, Director of Diabetes Education at HMC, education provided to patients is individualized and focuses on daily care as well as handling emergency situations.

“Once an individual has been diagnosed with diabetes, they need to start treatment immediately. This means meeting with our team of diabetes specialists, which includes doctors, dietitians, nurses, health educators, and other members of our clinical team. Together, working with the patient, we set a treatment plan that addresses medication, diet, and exercise,” said Ms. Othman. Depending on the type and severity of their disease, patients may need to take insulin or other diabetes medication. According to Ms. Othman, learning about diabetes medication and other treatment options can be overwhelming for many newly diagnosed patients.

“In addition to diet, Type 1 diabetics are treated with insulin injections, while most Type 2 diabetics are treated through diet and lifestyle modifications. However, some Type 2 diabetics and those with gestational diabetes may require oral drugs or insulin. Learning how to use medication and how to manage blood sugar levels can seem complex at first, so we work with the patient and their family. For patients who require insulin, we teach them how to inject themselves, how to store their medication, and how to dispose of needles,” said Ms. Othman.

She went on to say that the diabetes care team works closely with patients to set goals for maintaining their blood sugar level and teach patients how to manage diabetic emergencies and avoid complications. "Although our priority is stabilizing blood sugar levels and providing the support needed to manage the condition daily, we also talk about complications and diabetic emergencies. Chronic complications of diabetes can include heart attack, stroke, loss of sight, kidney failure, and amputation. The care we provide is supportive, but we are firm with our patients. We encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight,” added Ms. Othman.

One patient who has benefited from the care provided by the diabetes team at HMC is 60-year-old Mr. Jamal. Like thousands of other Type 2 diabetic patients, was struggling to manage his blood sugar. "I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 15 years ago. I was receiving regular care at my local health center but I was referred to HMC when I began having problems controlling my blood sugar level and with my feet. Working with a consultant as well as a nutritionist, a foot care specialist, and a diabetes educator, a treatment plan was developed which included measuring my blood sugar level several times a day and making changes to my diet. Within three months my sugar levels were stabilized. The team at Hamad gave me the confidence I needed to manage my care and they helped me understand the importance of nutrition and physical exercise,” said Mr. Jamal.

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, HMC has planned a full month of activities to highlight the importance of diabetes awareness, education, and research. Find out more about HMC’s diabetes awareness campaign and learn how to access a free diabetes screening in Qatar by visiting hamad.qa.

Categories: