By Eli Ruiz
HARRIS September 2, 2005 On Tuesday, August 23, and for the third time in less than a year, a group representing Catskill Regional Medical Center was invited to CNBC studios in New York City to attend a live taping of D Life-TV.
D Life-TV is a CNBC show that empowers and informs people living with diabetes about the disease that affects about 18 million Americans or 6.3 percent of the total U.S. population.
Diabetes is a disorder in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone crucial in the conversion of sugar, starches and other foods into energy needed for normal daily function.
There are four types of diabetes, including type-1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes) and type-2 diabetes, which results from the bodys resistance to insulin. Type-2 diabetes is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease.
Gestational diabetes is the least common and affects about four percent of pregnant women.
Pre-diabetes happens when a persons blood-sugar level is higher than normal, yet not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. About 40 million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes.
So around 10:30 a.m. that Tuesday, about 60 people including Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther boarded a chartered bus at CRMC and headed south to the city.
Im so happy to see the group from Catskill Regional Medical Center for the third time, said one of the shows producers, Amy McGuire. You guys are our favorite guests.
The shows hosts Jim Turner, Nicole Jackson, Mother Love and J. Anthony Brown (all diabetics) and a variety of guests and expert panelists talked about diabetes-related topics ranging from neuropathy to digital sclerosis.
Neuropathy is a disorder related to blood sugar levels that causes the blood vessels to expand and contract so much that a sufferer loses sensation in the affected region. Left untreated, neuropathy often results in the loss of limbs.
Digital sclerosis is related to elevated blood-sugar levels and affects the tissue under the surface of the skin, causing it to thicken and giving the skin an unsightly appearance.
Guest and world-renowned diabetes author Betty Brackridge encouraged the mostly diabetic audience to test often and declared, One cannot test their blood-sugar too much.
In fact, between segments, the hosts encouraged any of the audience members carrying blood-sugar monitors to test during breaks.
Robert Ehrhardt of Grahamsville, who suffers from type-1 diabetes, wears the Mini-Med 508 Insulin Pump which automatically disperses 1.9 units of insulin into his body each hour.
Ehrhardt lauded the pump for making my insulin intake much less painful and a lot more precise.
The next segment covered footcare and tips on preventing foot infections, which are extremely common in diabetics.
Doctor Andrew Rice, a leading podiatrist, discouraged the use of nail polish on the toes because it causes moisture to be trapped underneath the nail-bed, causing fungus and infection to set in.
Rice also displayed several new products, including shoe insoles and foot creams to help heal any cracks in the soles of feet and make a person suffering from such an affliction more comfortable walking, therefore improving that persons quality of life.
After the show, the enthusiastic group from the Catskills boarded the bus to begin the two and a half hour trip back north to Sullivan County.
Ive made the trip every time, and Ill tell you, I learn something new about my disease every time, said Ehrhardt.