Advice for Students Living with Diabetes

Shalida-Ann Dobbins, Assistant Features Editor

On Oct. 13, 2009 President Barack Obama announced that the month of November as the National Diabetes Month.

According to the American Diabetes Association 28.5 million children and adults are diabetic, and seven million of them are undiagnosed. People are targeted at any age.

There are two different types of Diabetes, Type One and Type Two.  Diabetes is caused by difficulty encountered by the pancreas to produce insulin to break down sugar and carbohydrate. With the blood sugar on the rise, most Type One diabetics have to take an injection of insulin. Meanwhile, the Type Two diabetics take an oral medication with or without insulin, or control the diabetes with diet, exercise, and weight management.

Rose Bruich, the director of student health services, provides a blood glucose meter in her office to examine diabetic students, and students with signs of high or low blood sugar levels. While the accepted level is between 60 and 110, it depends on the individual.

“I appreciate when students wear a medical alert,” Bruich stated regarding diabetic students. “It’s for safety reasons. I don’t like to label people,”

When students join Robert Morris University (RMU), they are asked to fill out a form to indicate their medical history and problems. Bruich uses the information to meet with the students to make sure the campus provides a good environment for them.

Diabetics have to follow a little-to-no sugar diet, as well as eating few carbohydrates, lots of whole-grains, a variety of vegetables and certain fruits that will not raise a sugar level.

Bruich insists that diabetic studenst should inform their roommates and Resident Assistants of their condition in case of an emergency. f an emergency does occur, the roommates should call Public Safety.

Stress and lack of exercising can raise sugar levels. For this reason, Bruich advise that student should not procrastinate.

“All of us have a lot of things on our plates, and you should only worry about the things you are able to change” Bruich said about college students and stress. This includes first year students who stress for being homesick.

Bruich suggest, all College students should drink a lot of water, especially in the winter when your skin dries out, and try to get more rest. The average person should drink six to eight glasses of water in an eight ounce glass daily. Also, all individuals with Diabetes should receive the flu shot every year

Bruich will be putting up a poster outside of her office to promote the awareness of Diabetes this month.   “People with Diabetes really don’t want to be singled out, everyone wants to be treated like everyone else,” stated Bruich. Bruich is against categorizing people based on their medical history.

“I would love to have someone come from a facility to answer questions about Diabetes,” Bruich said regarding how to inform people about the disease.

Even though there are many health complications that can result from Diabetes, having a healthy lifestyle and going to regular doctor’s appointments can bring the chances of having complications lower. Diabetes is manageable and can be lived with, without slowing down someone’s life.