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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Dealing with diabetes: SEMO Health Network adds educator to staff to aid patients

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kelly Golightly, left, learns about carbohydrates from Southeast Missouri Health Network diabetes educator Nan Thornton. Thornton recently joined the staff to provide one-on-one patient education. Jill Bock, staff
SIKESTON - Kelly Golightly knew she was fatigued, had excessive thirst and even noticed blurry vision. But she was young, she told herself, there's no problem.

Golightly was wrong, there was a problem. In July she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that involves the pancreas. The majority of patients has Type 2 diabetes which is when the pancreas is not making as much insulin as the body needs or the body is unable to use the insulin produced effectively to bring down the glucose level in the blood.

And, it isn't just Golightly's problem, it is increasingly a problem for more and more people, especially in Southeast Missouri. Statewide 9.4 out of every 100 adults are diagnosed with diabetes while in the Bootheel, the rate is as high as 14 out of 100.

Because of the prevalence of the disease in the area, directors of the Southeast Missouri Health Network decided to take action and hired Nan Thornton. A certified diabetes educator and a registered and licensed dietician, who has a master's degree in nutrition, Thornton will work with the healthcare providers at SEMO Health Network's medical clinics at Bernie, Kennett, New Madrid, Portageville and Sikeston. When the new clinic opens in September at Benton, she will also be available to assist patients with diabetes there, too.

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