Team approach — Diabetes doctors work with patients to customize care

August 5, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

This story is featured in the Summer 2013 edition of myBoone Health magazine. Click here for a free subscription

Diabetes is a challenging disease to treat.

It’s a problem where education can often be as effective as medication. It’s a disease where a patient’s story is sometimes just as important as their test results.

Drs. Sonya Addison and Fadi Siyam.

Drs. Sonya Addison and Fadi Siyam.

For the two doctors establishing a new diabetes clinic at Boone Hospital Center, those challenges are what make their work enjoyable.

“Diabetes is a disease that does not follow the rule of one size fits all,” said Fadi Siyam, MD. “You have to customize it, you have to redesign it for each patient individually.”

Dr. Siyam and Sonya Addison, MD, are teaming up to open the Boone Diabetes and Endocrine Center, located in Broadway Medical Plaza III. Call 573-815-7146 for an appointment.

Both doctors said their work will focus on treating patients as individuals. They want to do everything they can to help patients manage their diabetes.

“I’ve always been a people person, I like to talk to people and interact with them,” said Dr. Addison. “When you’re helping treat a chronic disease, you get to know your patients and interact with them a lot. That’s what I really enjoy, that relationship.”

Dr. Addison grew up in Fairfax, Mo., in the northwest corner of the state. She came to mid-Missouri to attend Central Methodist University.

She originally majored in music — she plays flute and piccolo — but quickly changed to pre-med. She completed medical school, residency and her fellowship at the University of Missouri.

Her father is a respiratory therapist and her mother is a registered nurse.

“I grew up around medicine,” Dr. Addison said. “I really wanted to be a doctor since I was about six.”

Dr. Siyam grew up in a family of pharmacists, which also made it natural for him to pursue a medical career.

He grew up in Jerusalem and moved to Jordan around the time he started high school. He attended medical school in Jordan and then moved back to Jerusalem for his internship.

He came to the University of Missouri to become an internal medicine specialist. During his training, he realized he most enjoyed working with diabetic patients. So that’s were he decided to focus his career.

He said mid-Missouri has been very welcoming and friendly. He enjoys living in Columbia where there are opportunities to spend time outdoors and listen to classical music concerts.

“When I had an opportunity to stay in mid-Missouri, I took it,” he said.

He also likes biking and photographing architecture.

When she’s not serving patients, Dr. Addison enjoys spending time with her husband, Justin, and her son, Jake. She is expecting a second child this summer.

The family also owns Tucker’s Fine Jewelry in downtown Columbia.

When the Boone Diabetes and Endocrine Center opens this summer, the physicians look forward to working alongside Boone Hospital’s existing Diabetes and Weight Management services.

“Education, in our subspecialty, is so integral, it’s so important,” said Dr. Siyam. “It’s totally inseparable in the management of a diabetic to have a good educator by your side to help you with a patient.”

The Boone Diabetes and Endocrine Center is accepting appointments. Drs. Siyam and Addision said they are eager to meet new patients and help them improve their health.

“The results are very tangible. With good management, you can see your patients get better,” Dr. Addison said. “Having that kind of success is very important to us.”

Fuel For Health — Diabetes Education Helps Moberly Man Find Wellness

March 20, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

This story is featured in the Winter 2013 edition of myBoone Health magazine. Click here for a free subscription.

Mark Morgan is careful about what kind of fuel he puts in his new truck.

It’s a Chevy Silverado. He’s cautious with the engine and wants to protect his investment. He deliberates about different ethanol blends when he’s at the pump; he wants to maximize performance.

However, for many years Mark wasn’t nearly as cautious about the fuel he was putting into his own body.

Brenda Wilson, Mark Morgan and Jennifer Anderson.

Brenda Wilson, Mark Morgan and Jennifer Anderson.

Fast food, doughnuts and candy helped keep a pulsing sugar buzz going for his marketing consultant job at KRES radio in Moberly.

But the lifestyle took its toll. By his mid-40s, Mark weighed over 400 pounds. He was often getting sick. He started feeling light-headed, like he was going to pass out.

Bad fuel was threatening to kill his engine.

“I was a heart attack or a stroke waiting to happen,” Mark said.

He was diagnosed with diabetes. He began taking medication, but ignored any advice about changing his lifestyle.

“In hindsight, I can see clearly I was in denial,” he said. “It really didn’t mean a lot to me because I didn’t understand what diabetes meant as far as the condition itself, the threat to my health or what I was going to have to do.”

Years went by. His weight peaked at 450 pounds.

Then, about two years ago, he decided to make a change. He began to focus on sustained weight loss. He dropped dozens of pounds.

However, a hemoglobin test showed his diabetes was still out of control. His doctor, Andrea Eden, DO, at Boone Convenient Care in Moberly, compelled him to learn more about his disease. She recommended the diabetes self-management education classes offered at Boone Hospital Center.

Over four weekly sessions, the classes teach essential diabetes facts, possible complications and how to manage
the disease through diet, exercise and medication.

“The goal of diabetes self-management education is to empower people with the tools they need to manage their diabetes,” said Jennifer Anderson, diabetes education coordinator.

For Mark, the classes were a revelation. For the first time, he understood what diabetes was, how it was affecting his body and how his food choices could have lasting consequences.

He realized immediate changes were needed. He started watching his carb intake, began to monitor his sugar levels and learned to listen to his body.

He also realized he needed to be on insulin, something he had resisted for years.

“Insulin is not the bad guy — diabetes complications are the bad guys. People may not be making enough insulin to manage their blood sugars. Giving insulin is the only option to increase the amount available,” said Brenda Wilson, RN-BC. “Looking at the long term, you have to decide if your diabetes is going to manage you or if you are going to manage your diabetes.”

Armed with this knowledge, Mark, 54, has a new chance at health. His weight is now down to 346 and dropping. He’s on insulin.

“It’s basically awareness of what I’m putting in my body,” he said. “That’s the key along with medication and exercise.”

He also just feels better. Now he’s rarely sick and he finds it easier to thrive in his creative job.

With good fuel going in his body and the knowledge of how to tame his diabetes, Mark said he’s finally ready to steer his life toward health.

“Before I was completely in a reactive mode; I felt like I was being driven,” he said. “I feel like I’m driving now.”

Boone Hospital offers diabetes education

November 14, 2012

Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance?

Boone Hospital Center offers a class where you can learn how to delay or prevent diabetes through simple lifestyle changes.

The class is Monday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. in the Broadway Medical Plaza 3 Large Conference Room.

It’s taught by Boone Hospital’s diabetes educators. In this class, you will learn:

  • About pre-diabetes
  • The risks and how to decrease those risks
  • Healthy meal planning ideas
  • The benefits of physical activity and weight loss

The class costs $30. For more information or to register, call 573.815.3870.

Education is critical to diabetes management

March 31, 2011

By Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer is a diabetes education coordinator with Boone Hospital Center’s WELLAWARE health outreach program.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. It currently affects 25 million people or about eight percent of the population. The overall economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was around $174 billion.

Jennifer Anderson, diabetes education coordinator

Unfortunately, it’s only predicted to get worse. The number of people with diabetes and the related costs are expected to double over the next 25 years.

Diabetes affects quality of life. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney disease, heart disease and damage to eyes and nerves. Fortunately, we know that well-controlled diabetes, defined as a hemoglobin A1C of less than seven percent, can significantly cut down on the risk for complications.

For a person with diabetes, self-management is the key to good control. One the key elements of effective self-management is behavior change. Diabetes education provides a person with diabetes the knowledge and skills necessary to modify behavior and successfully manage their diabetes. Diabetes educators are experts at fostering behavior change.

The Diabetes Self-management Program at Boone Hospital Center has five diabetes educators on staff. The staff includes three registered dietitians, an exercise physiologist and a registered nurse.

People who are referred to the program will meet one-on-one with an educator for assessment and individual counseling in which they are provided a blood glucose monitor and instruction on how to perform a blood sugar test.

After the one-on-one visit with the educator, individuals attend a four-week class series. The class series provides in depth information regarding: meal planning, medication, monitoring, benefits of exercise, and treatment and prevention of acute and chronic complications.

After the class series, the individual is seen for a three-month and one-year follow-up to evaluate goals and determine if changes in treatment are needed. Program outcomes have shown an average of a two percent decrease in hemoglobin A1C for individuals who return for a three-month follow-up.

Read the rest of this entry »

WELLAWARE: A healthy influence for mid-Missouri’s workforce

October 25, 2010

For most of his life, Ricky Harmon ate what he liked and as much as he wanted.

For him, that meant plenty of potatoes, pasta and dinners at buffet restaurants. He also started gaining weight, topping out at around 250 pounds.

Ricky Harmon

Ricky Harmon

“It came on after I got married,” said Ricky, 49, of Boonville. “Once you get married, you always get bigger.”

Despite the weight, Ricky figured he was healthy in September of 2009, as a lab tech poked a needle in his arm at a health screening.

But when his results came back, he quickly learned otherwise.

The glucose in Ricky’s blood was 293 mg/dl. Normal range is between 65 and 139 mg/dl.

“It was high,” Ricky said. “Very, very high.”

The scan took place at the Missouri State Teachers Association in Columbia. Ricky does custodial and maintenance work for the association. His employer sponsored the fair, which was run by Boone Hospital Center’s WELLAWARE program.

After receiving his abnormal results, Ricky scheduled an appointment with his doctor to find out what was wrong. Tests showed Ricky had type II diabetes.

Before the WELLAWARE health fair, he had no idea he was diabetic. But now, he was faced with either going on medication or making big life changes.

He chose the latter.

“I didn’t want to have to take the medication because of the side effects,” he said. “So that’s when I decided to start watching what I eat.”

Read the rest of this entry »


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