Article by : Dr. Nazeera Dawood
Sudha Reddy, Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, Vicky Carnes, Dr. Nazeera
On Aug 24, 2013 from 11:00 am to 1:30 am, it was heard loud and clear. Our topic for discussion was diabetes, the state of the epidemic and its impact in our community. The burden of this disorder is vast, owing to its increasing global prevalence, the devastating damage it can do to many organs of the body, and the direct and indirect costs. The only way to win the war against diabetes was to come together and spread the prevention message far and wide. The outstanding panelists discussed the ways to combat diabetes specifically in the Indian American Community.
Seminar: The seminar was structured and scheduled to focus on specific topics such as screening, diagnosing, nutrition, testing and prevention of Diabetes. Dr.Nazeera Dawood moderated the panel of diabetic experts to share their diabetic knowledge and wisdom on the issues with the audience through question and answer session and myth busters.
The seminar started with the participants taking a pre test which included 16 questions testing their knowledge on diabetes. There was an exam hall déjà vu feeling, as there was a pin drop silence while the audience took the pretest. After the pretest, the first question to the panel set the mood for the seminar which was “I have an ideal weight and almost 40 years old. I have never exercised until recently, my parents are diabetic, I have heard I can get diabetes, is it true and how can I prevent that?”
Dr. Nazeera , Dr. Neel & Dr. Shivari
The panelists answered the first question by describing the types of diabetes and the risk factors associated with it. Vicki Karnes described the extent of the problem in the nation and worldwide, the effect on patients, the effect on disease management strategies, and solutions to consider for prevention of diabetes. Dr. Sharvari Rangnekar and Ms. Vicki Karnes answered questions on best practices to combat diabetes that work on our Indian community and shared experiences treating/ educating everyday patients with diabetes. Dr.Neel Neelagaru and Dr.Sreeni Gangasani discussed the cardiovascular complications on diabetic patients making references to their everyday patients. The panelists also stressed on preventative health care. Dr.Sivakumar
Jayabalan discussed the latest research developments and tips on managing diabetes. Last but not the least Ms. Sudha Reddy discussed the importance of diet and its relation to diabetes. Further discussion unveiled that a westernized lifestyle, which involves a high-energy diet and reduced physical activity, is indisputably linked to the rising obesity rates and type 2 diabetes. Rates of overweight, obesity, and diabetes rise sharply in populations that move from traditional Indian to urban environments. The appropriate management of established type 2 diabetes involves control of factors that cause complications, such as blood glucose and lipid concentrations, blood pressure, body weight, and smoking, as well as regular screening for and appropriate management of complications.Question and Answer Session: Other interesting question from the audience was, is there were policies that were being looked at to reduce the burden of diabetes.
The attendees said they came away with the experience with a sense of hope, already feeling empowered to make lifestyle changing as increasing their activity levels after mealtimes and watching the intake of carbohydrates.
Kalina, Raasi , Dr. Shiva, Corenlia & Neela
During the break, the attendees had the honor of the presentation by young kids promoting health and addressing the crowd. Additionally they said how a broccoli smoothie can be as tasty and said watch the diet and increase physical activity.The second half of the seminar was a series of discussion to address a variety of topics on diabetes. A great deal of discussion centered on the amount of preventing diabetes with life style changes like diet and exercise. All participants were furnished several handouts on Diabetic basic information. It was decided that seminars like this need to be presented to the community in a continuous basis. We need to change the way people think and act when it comes to diabetes. We need to take this disease seriously, get tested and be on the lookout for symptoms.
Feedback from the seminar:
“All of the accomplished panelists were proficient, and efficient with the health and wellness discussion and exchange of ideas with the audience members. Please keep me informed on future events and initiatives so that I can share all of the great things you offer to the community.” – Mutima Jackson- Anderson
“ Looking forward to working for this Health awareness program.” Shiv K Aggarwal
“ The eminent panel you brought for the diabetes was very impressive. Ms. Cornelia from healthy heart coalition did a superb job with kids healthy cooking demonstration. Our community now knows about your vision to serve the people and how passionate, organized and capable you are in making a difference.” Narayan Swamy
We also would like to acknowledge the following members for their direct / indirect contribution to the success of this seminar event.
IACA organizers: Narayan Swamy and PR Subramanyam
Healthy Heart Coalition: Cornelia King, Leslie Magnum,
Fulton County: Hina Ahmed
Volunteers: Anushka Madhwesh, Anusha Gopali, Ooha Edugupanti
South Asians in the South dLife Community Group has been created for continuous dialogue and blogs. Please join the group for more information specific to the South Asian community. Here’s the link: http://diabetescommunity.dlife.com/southasian