Diabetes Soars in Solano

It’s a dubious distinction. More adults in Solano County have diabetes than in any other county in the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). The latest study found that 9.5 percent of Solano County adults have the disease, with Humboldt and Fresno counties coming in close behind, at 9 and 8.9 percent, respectively.

The number of adults with diabetes is high and climbing, and the increase can be attributed to a number of factors. “It could be a combination of risk factors such as age, family history, ethnicity, lack of exercise or being overweight,” according to Collette DaCruz, R.N., certified diabetes educator for NorthBay Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes.

The NorthBay Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes and the NorthBay Diabetes Self Management Education Program offers patients a team approach to diabetes care. The team includes Deborah Murray, M.D., medical director and endocrinologist, an inpatient and outpatient nurse practitioner, a dietitian, and DaCruz.

“No single provider of care has the expertise and skill set that covers all the complicated needs of the diabetes patient,” says Dr. Murray. “We need many types of medical professionals to cover all the bases. I rely very heavily on my team to help me provide for all the varied issues that arise in the total care for the diabetic. With such a highly skilled team, we can help with almost any diabetic problem and get our patients on the road to their best health.”

During the past three years the center has ramped up its efforts to educate patients on ways to better manage their disease, and statistics indicate the NorthBay approach is paying off. The NorthBay Center’s Diabetes Self Management Education program has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Diabetes Education (AADE) by demonstrating it provides high quality self-management education services to the diabetes community.

“I admire patients who ask questions and take an active role in managing their diabetes,” DaCruz says. “Diabetes can be scary but it is very treatable.

“To ensure we are providing a quality education, we measure two things: the goals our patients set for lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, and their hemoglobin A1-C levels, which is the average blood sugar level over three months,” DaCruz says. “Our education and support provides patients with self-care skills essential to diabetes management. The outcome measurements show a high percentage of the patients in our program see their numbers improve.”

The team works to help diabetics understand how a low-carbohydrate diet, increased exercise, regular monitoring of blood sugar and even a combination of cutting-edge diabetes medications can help them regain control of the disease and their quality of life.

“I admire patients who ask questions and take an active role in managing their diabetes,” DaCruz says. “Diabetes can be scary but it is very treatable.

“Oftentimes patients can identify what they need to do to bring their blood glucose values to a target range and it’s just a matter of helping them make a plan to accomplish that.”

The NorthBay Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes not only helps educate its NorthBay patients, but is part of a broader outreach to prevent diabetes and its complications in Solano County and beyond. It is a partner with the California Diabetes Program, sponsored by the California Department of Public Health and the University of California, San Francisco.

These organizations vow to share valuable information in the hopes their efforts will help reduce the disease throughout the state. For more information, check out the California Diabetes Program at www.caldiabetes.org.

To make an appointment with Dr. Murray, call the NorthBay Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes in Vacaville at (707) 624-7999.

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