Beyond Diabetes Awareness Month: Tips for managing disease at home

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November was Diabetes Awareness Month – but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can’t lose their focus on keeping it in check. And technology is making it easier to monitor the disease from home.

More than 520,000 Washingtonians have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Dr. Mamatha Palanati is the medical diabetes program director for Kaiser Permanente Washington. She said the disease needs to be managed closely, because it can lead to serious health complications.

Palanati noted that fortunately, people don’t need to leave their homes to do this in some cases.

“In today’s world, there’s a much easier way to do it, like telehealth,” said Palanati. “Telehealth provides multiple ways for the follow-up and connection to the health care for any individual.”

Palanti said people managing diabetes still should plan to see their physician in person at least once a year. Management of other factors, like blood pressure and cholesterol, can also help reduce complications.

Palanati said monitoring technology can also assist people.

“The family members and caregivers, or anyone who can take care of that particular individual,” said Palanati, “can do it remotely and manage their diabetes in a much better way.”

Palanati stressed that diabetes is a chronic disease.

“Don’t look at this as an additional chore or anything,” said Palanati. “Make it as a part of your life. So, be active, making sure you adapt to the healthy lifestyles. It may not be perfect, but try your best to get what you can do.”

Featured photo: More than 45,000 Washingtonians are diagnosed with diabetes each year, according to estimates. (Chinnapong/Adobe Stock)

Eric Tegethoff

Eric Tegethoff is a journalist covering the Northwest. Eric has worked as a reporter for KBOO, XRAY FM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, Oregon, as well as other print and digital news media. In 2012, Eric traveled to North Dakota to write about the Bakken region oil boom. He's also worked at a movie theater, as a campaign canvasser and quality assurance at a milk packaging factory. Eric is originally from Orlando, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2010.

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