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Diabetes Christmas Dinner

The Kaw Nation Diabetes Program hosted the annual Diabetes Christmas Dinner on Tuesday. Thirty-eight people attended the dinner. A diabetic-friendly dinner of pork, potatoes, salad and cake was served. Each attendee received a bag with a notepad and pen, measuring spoons and a recipe book explaining effective use of good carbohydrates.

Dr. Jeffrey Shuart of Blackwell gave an address about the evolving knowledge about diabetes and diabetic medicine.

Shuart discussed new learning about diabetes medications. He said that restrictions have been removed from Avandia, a thiazolidinedione (TZD) medicine that helps control sugar. Avandia had been thought to cause higher risks of kidney and bladder cancer, but these findings have been dismissed because diabetics generally have higher cancer risks.

Shuart mentioned that drug companies are finding new concepts for diabetic medicines, even drawing from lessons of non-diabetic people.

Shuart said that doctors are trying to personalize medical approaches for each patient.

I’m not overweight, but I inherited a weird tendency to be very insulin-resistant. I have to take a lot of insulin. I take a huge amount of insulin compared to most people and that’s just how my genetics work,” he said, speaking of his own diabetic tendencies.

He said that tailoring personal approaches means prescribing medications and vitamin supplements specific to each patient’s conditions.

Shuart reminded everyone in attendance that diet and exercise are the most important aspects of diabetes care.

“Honestly, eating the right way will make a huge difference. Diet and exercise are the hallmark of where we start with diabetes care,” he said.

At the end of the program, more than 20 prizes were given away, sponsored by the diabetes program, the Kaw Women’s Health Program and the Kaw Nation Injury Prevention Program. Donna Jo Ball won the grand prize of a 40-inch flat screen Fusia television sponsored by SouthWind Casino.

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