Tag Archives: Lexington Endocrinology

The Best Medicine: Exercise Helps Woman Lead a Healthier Life

Janet Jordan says weight-loss surgery was the hardest thing she ever did. But the 66-year-old retiree credits the surgery and a customized exercise program for pointing her life in a better and brighter direction.

Janet underwent gastric bypass surgery at Lexington Medical Center in February to help gain control of diabetes and other health issues. She has since lost nearly 75 pounds. A referral to the hospital’s Exercise Is Wellness program helped her transition into an exercise regime that’s paid equally big dividends. She now has more energy and feels much better. And best of all, she no longer takes medicine for high blood pressure or anxiety and only takes one pill a day for diabetes.

“I’ve been on blood pressure medication for nearly 20 years and on diabetes medication for about 14 years,” said Janet. “My prescriptions used to cost $300 to $400 a month, and now I pay less than $20 a month. The weight loss from exercising was a positive, but I was thrilled with the health benefits.”

The eight-week Exercise Is Medicine program pairs participants who qualify with a personal trainer and a free two-month membership to Health Directions, the hospital’s wellness gym. There, participants receive eight personal training sessions and a review of their medical history, including a custom training plan and an orientation to exercise equipment and classes.

“My trainer Stephen was very knowledgeable,” said Janet. “He focused on my needs and what I could accomplish safely. It was a very good program for me. I
loved the atmosphere and the knowledge of the staff.”

Janet plans to continue exercising at a local gym in her neighborhood.

Frank J. Ferraro, MD, with Lexington Endocrinology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, says exercise is especially important for someone like Janet who has diabetes.

“Exercise helps lower blood glucose by increasing circulation to the muscles,” he said. “Since this is where most of our insulin receptors are located, exercise helps lower blood glucose levels both during exercise and afterward.  Also, regular exercise is an important part of maintaining an ideal body weight or losing weight. Being overweight increases insulin resistance, making it more difficult to control blood glucose.”

Dr. Frank Ferraro

In addition, Dr. Ferraro says people with diabetes have a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease and can reduce their risk with regular exercise.

Before starting an exercise program, Dr. Ferraro says people with diabetes should first get approval from their physicians. This is especially important for individuals over 35, those who are overweight or anyone with another risk factor for heart disease such as smoking or high blood pressure.

The Exercise Is Medicine program is funded by a grant from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation. A physician referral is required. For more information about the program, contact Thad Werts at Health Directions at (803) 936-7125.

Who’s Eligible for the Program?
The eight-week Exercise Is Medicine program requires a physician referral and targets individuals with two or more risk factors:
• Family history of any chronic health condition such as heart disease, diabetes or COPD
• Tobacco use
• High blood pressure
• Dyslipidemia (elevated lipids)
• Diabetes
• Obesity
• Sedentary lifestyle

The Diabetic Food Pantry Opens

Lexington Medical Center, Harvest Hope Food Bank and the American Diabetes Association are working together to establish the first diabetic food pantry in South Carolina. Opening this week, the D2 & Me Diabetic Food Pantry will allow community members in need with diabetes to pick up special boxes of healthy staple foods and fresh produce that are diabetic friendly.

The idea for the diabetic food pantry came from Natalie Copeland, a Lexington Medical Center employee who has type 2 diabetes and created a health and wellness group called “D2 & Me” for diabetics in the Midlands.

Learn about the pantry and meet Natalie, along with Lexington Medical Center diabetes Educator Karissa Belk, in this WIS-TV news story.

 

Recipients at the diabetic food pantry will get boxes that include peanut butter, brown rice, dry pinto beans, oats, Corn Flakes cereal, milk, mandarin oranges, unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat spaghetti noodles, green beans, tomatoes, carrots and chicken. They will also receive a packet with recipes, a brochure about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association, and a schedule of D2 & Me meetings.

For now, the program is working with three pilot pantries where community members will pick up the diabetic food boxes: Church of Christ Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia; Sharing God’s Love in Irmo; and Mission of Hope in Cayce. People who are interested in receiving the boxes should contact Harvest Hope’s Columbia office at (803) 254 – 4432. People who donate to Harvest Hope should consider donating some of the diabetic-friendly items listed above.

#WISHealthU

South Carolina’s First Diabetic Food Pantry

Lexington Medical Center, Harvest Hope Food Bank and the American Diabetes Association are working together to establish the first diabetic food pantry in South Carolina. Scheduled to open July 1, the D2 & Me Diabetic Food Pantry will allow community members in need with diabetes to pick up special boxes of healthy staple foods and fresh produce that are diabetic friendly.

The idea for the diabetic food pantry came from Natalie Copeland, a Lexington Medical Center employee who has type 2 diabetes and created a health and wellness group called “D2 & Me” for diabetics in the Midlands.

Natalie Copeland

“I learned a lot of people who have diabetes use a food pantry. Sometimes, the food they receive is heavy on carbohydrates. The diabetic food pantry will help to ensure that they receive a nutritional balance of food that will help them manage their diabetes well,” said Copeland.

Recipients at the diabetic food pantry will get boxes that include peanut butter, brown rice, dry pinto beans, oats, Corn Flakes cereal, milk, mandarin oranges, unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat spaghetti noodles, green beans, tomatoes, carrots and chicken. They will also receive a packet with recipes, a brochure about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association, and a schedule of D2 & Me meetings.

“It has always been part of Harvest Hope’s mission to provide quality food for those in need,” said Denise Holland, CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank. “We are thrilled to be working with Lexington Medical Center and our community partners to help provide for those who are facing the double struggle of diabetes and hunger.”
 
A Lexington Medical Center Foundation grant is providing the first boxes of food for the diabetic food pantry. Community members who donate to Harvest Hope Food Bank are encouraged to bring foods on the diabetic list. There are also opportunities for corporate sponsorships. For information on donations, visit HarvestHope.org or call the Columbia office at (803) 254 – 4432.

“A healthy diet is an important factor in managing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is pleased to partner with Lexington Medical Center and Harvest Hope to provide resources in support of the diabetic food pantry in South Carolina,” said John Douglas, manager of Community Health Strategies with the American Diabetes Association in Columbia.
 
For now, the program is working with three pilot pantries where community members will pick up the diabetic food boxes: Church of Christ Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia; Sharing God’s Love in Irmo; and Mission of Hope in Cayce. People who are interested in receiving the boxes should contact Harvest Hope’s Columbia office at (803) 254 – 4432.

Eventually, organizers would like to expand the program to all Harvest Hope Food Bank agencies in South Carolina.

Diabetes in South Carolina
In South Carolina, one in eight adults has diabetes. This rate is the seventh highest in the United States. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are also obese.

Diabetes can create a domino effect of complications. High sugar levels in the blood damage small blood vessels and nerves, leading to a risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, leg pain and a loss of sensation in the feet. High sugar levels can also make healing from infections difficult.

If someone has type 2 diabetes, he or she should avoid sweetened drinks, sweets, breads, pastas and white race. Foods that are good for diabetics include fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy.