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June 7, 1996     Cape Gazette
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June 7, 1996

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, HEALTH & FITNESS June 7. June 13, 1996.33 Tunnell Cancer Center receives proclamation for outstanding service The Board of Directors at Beebe Medical Center recently presented the Tunnell Cancer Center staff and physicians with a proclamation for its outstanding service and perfor- mance to the community. Shown making the presentation is Bhaskar Palekar, M.D., chairman of the board of directors, presenting Andrejs Strauss, M.D., director of radiation oncol- ogy. Kaye to speak on gambling June 8 Yvonne Kaye, noted lecturer, humorist and host of the "Dr. Yvonne Kaye Radio Show" on WWDB will conduct a one-day seminar at the Academy of Medicine in Wilmington on Saturday, June 8. The semi- nar, sponsored by the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics and the Tressler Centers of Delaware, is titled "Life After Survival, A Prosperous Living," and addresses gambling issues. The six-hour lec- ture will begin at 9 a.m. and finish at 4:30 p.m. The cost is $45 per per- son. For more information or to register for the seminar, call the Tressler Centers at (302) 995-2294. The Beebe Medical Center Board of Directors recently pre- sented the Tunnell Cancer Center staff and physicians with a procla- mation for its outstanding service and performance to the communi- ty at a recognition dinner. The proclamation commended the cen- ter for its commitment to the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and for providing a high volume of patients with quality care. The center is seeing three times as many radiation oncology patients as was originally project- ed. In its first four weeks of oper- ation, more than 40 patients a day received radiation oncology thera- PY. Medical ontology patients have increased by 50 percent, and the volume of patients receiving chemotherapy has increased by 37 percent. The Tunnell Cancer Center staff includes Andrejs Strauss, M.D., director of radiation oncology; Sri- hari Peri, M.D., director of med- ical ontology; Robert Hogan, M.D., medical oncologist; Joy Bartell, B.S.N., O.C.N., oncology manager; Patty Hutman, R.N.; Betsy Bonkowski, R.N.; Linda Wright, L.P.N.; Lori Belote, R.N.; Ron Walton, chief radiation thera- pist; Tim Terry, radiation thera- pist; Lori Williams, radiation ther- apist; Paul Mayercsik, radiation therapist; Carlette toeWater, dosimetrist; and Ann Moore, Susan Cadwallader and Phil Brown, secretaries/receptionists. U of D finds link between weather and asthma A cold, clear day in autumn may be welcome sight to many, but it may mean trouble for those suffer- ing from asthma, as indicated by the results of a recent study con- ducted in the University of Delaware Department of Geogra- phy. Hospital admissions for asth- ma increase significantly in the fall, the study shows. Specifical- ly, the study found the average weekly hospital admission count for asthma doubles from approxi- mately 400 in early September to more than 800 in early October. Another peak is evident in spring. Summer has the lowest admission totals. The study was conducted by r Paul Jamason, former graduate research assistant in the UD Department of Geography, who received his master's degree from UD in May. Now a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Jamason presented a paper on "Asthma and Climate: A Synoptic Climatololgical Analy- sis" at the Association of Ameri- can Geographers' annual meeting. Certain air masses in each sea- son are associated with high asth- ma admission days, particularly in fall and winter, the study shows. The onset of a cold, clear fall air mass with high pressure had the highest mean value of admissions and a statistically significant num- ber of "epidemic admission days." It is apparent that weather influ- ences asthma severity in the New york region, the study concludes. To investigate the link between asthma and climate, Jamason used an automated air mass-based index. The index takes into account a combination of meteorological conditions that can affect the asth- matic simultaneously. The approach also enabled an evalua- tion of other environmental factors - air pollution, pollen and mold spores - that may work alone or in combination with the atmospheric condition. Diabetes update: learn to recognize medical needs Diabetes is a condition that affects an estimated 14 million Americans. It is the fourth lead- ing cause of death by disease in this country. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong disease that can be treated but not cured. Although technology has advanced in terms of blood glu- cose monitoring and drug therapy, diabetes can still lead to serious problems including blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney dis- ease and lower limb amputation. Your chance of getting the dis- ease is greater if you are over 30, overweight and have a family his- tory of the disease. If you are His- panic, Native American or African American you are even more likely to get diabetes. Insulin dependent, referred to as Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce insulin. Type II diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body is unable to make enough insulin or properly use it. Type II diabetes accounts for about 90 percent of all cases. A very important aspect of treatment is blood glucose moni- toring. While frequency of moni- toring and blood glucose goals are established on an individual basis with your physician, the glucose range for people with Type I dia- HEALTH TOPICS Teresa Price betes is usually between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals and no higher than 180 mg/dl after meals. The blood glucose range for Type II diabetes is 115 mg/dl before meals and 140 mg/dl after meals. Acute complications of diabetes include hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syn- drome of HHNS. Hypoglycemia may be defined as a blood glucose below 70 mg/dl. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can develop with a higher blood glucose than 70 mg/dl. For example, a person who consistently has a level of 300 mg/dl may develop symptoms when the level drops below 175 mg/dl. The causes of hypoglycemia include skipping or delaying meals, eating very low calorie meals, taking too much insulin or oral medication, exercising vigor- ously and not pausing for a snack, not adjusting insulin or diabetic medication after losing weight and drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. The common symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, rapid heart beat, blurred vision, slurred speech, dizziness, shaking, numbness or tingling, headache, light-headedness, confusion and the inability to concentrate. If hypoglycemia occurs, test your blood sugar if possible. Take 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate (example: six ounces of milk, 3/4 cup of soda - not diet soda, or five life savers.) Eat a snack, an ounce of cheese, six crackers or a half of a sandwich.) Test your blood sug- ar again and repeat the treatment in 15 minutes if you're still having symptoms. Do not eat chocolate or fruit to treat hypoglycemia because they do not take effect fast enough. If you are watching your potassium intake, do not take orange juice. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is responsible for nearly one out of nine of all diabetes-related hospi, tal stays. DKA usually affects people with Type I diabetes. It develops when insulin levels are inadequate. During periods of emotional or physical stress relat- ed to infection or surgery. Such stress stimulates the release of hormones, which may cause hyperglycemia so severe that cir- culating insulin is ineffective. Injecting inadequate doses of insulin can have the same effect. The body cannot burn glucose when there is not enough insulin; therefore, it begins to burn fats instead. That leads to a build-up of sub- stances called ketones. Breathing becomes very deep and rapid and typically a fruity odor is detected on the person's breath. Excess glucose spills into the urine, dehy- dration and electrolyte imbalance results. GI symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain may also be present. Most diabetics with severe DKA have a blood glucose above 400 mg/dl. A coma is a possibili- ty for anyone with DKA; howev- er, it is not very common. This is likely due to the fact that increased awareness of the symp- toms have enabled most people to get help before the complication progresses to a coma. Severe DKA is a medical emergency. Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotie syndrome (HI-INS) has an estimated mortality rate of 70 percent. Persons with undiag- nosed Type II are especially vul- nerable to HHNS because their disease is unchecked. People who suffer from alcoholism, receive dialysis or who are elderly are at high risk as well. Just like with diabetic ketoacidosis, HHNS is triggered by stress, which prompts the release of hormones, which in turn causes hyperglycemia. These stresses may be burns, infection, surgery and emotional stress. The hyperglycemia with HHNS is usually much worse with blood glucose readings above 800 mg/dl. Because of their rising glucose level, persons with HHNS are often severely dehydrated. They may also have neurological symptoms such as seizures, vision disturbances and coma. In order to detect HHNS early, a diabetic should check blood glu- cose every three to four hours when sick or infected. If two con- secutive readings above 300 mg/dl is obtained, if there is fatigue without cause, or a frequent need to urinate, a physician should be called. For more information on diabetes, contact the American Diabetes Association at (703) 549-1500 or your local chapter at 684-8404. Editor's note: Teresa Price is the home health program director at CHEER, Sussex County Senior Services, Inc. in Georgetown.