Check In: Could Your Child Have Diabetes?

Diabetes - Check It, Share ItRanita Kuryan, MD, helps families and children learn to live with diabetes, but it’s not easy news to share. “It’s hard to tell a 10- or 12-year-old child and his or her family that their child has diabetes,” Kuryan says. “Whether a child is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2, diabetes is a chronic condition that he or she must learn to manage for the long term.”

Ranita Kuryan, MD

Ranita Kuryan, MD
Pediatric endocrinology
Watch a video to learn more about her.

Kuryan, a board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric endocrinologist who practices at Pediatric Specialists of the Lehigh Valley, affiliated with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, has noticed an increase in the number of diabetes diagnoses among children – an observation confirmed in published research. “Researchers with the ‘SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth’ study reported that the number of diabetes cases among children between 2001 and 2009 increased dramatically. They found a 21 percent increase in type 1 diabetes diagnoses and a 30.5 percent increase in type 2 diabetes diagnoses among children ages 0 through 19.”

It isn’t clear why the number of children with diabetes increased.  For type 1 diabetes, environmental factors are under investigation, including whether exposure to some viruses can trigger an immune system attack against insulin-producing cells. Vitamin D deficiency has also been hypothesized. To date, there is no conclusive evidence to support these theories. It has been suggested that the increase in type 2 diabetes in youth is a result of an increase in the frequency of obesity in pediatric populations.Obesity in youth has been increasing since the 1960s. Read More »

IndyCar Race Driver is Featured Speaker for Nov. 16 Diabetes Community Day

Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball is the first driver with type 1 diabetes to race at IndyCar’s highest level.

IndyCar racing driver Charlie Kimball, who has excelled behind the wheel while managing type 1 diabetes, will be the featured speaker at the Helwig Health and Diabetes Center’s Community Day, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 16, at Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest’s Kasych Family Pavilion.

The event will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in Medical Imaging of Lehigh Valley Educational Conference Center rooms 6, 7 and 8. Activities will include diabetes-related educational exhibits and product demonstrations. Free flu shots will be available. Attendees also will be eligible for several giveaways. Please call 610-402-CARE to register.

Kimball began his open-wheel racing career at age 17, earning a spot in in the prestigious Formula 3 racing series in Europe. Then during a routine doctor’s visit in 2007, his racing journey almost came to an abrupt end when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Read More »

Diabetes Prevention Program Brings Healthy Success for Allentown Woman

Luz CruzType 2 diabetes changes the lives of more than 22 million Americans. You don’t need to be one of them. You can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. When Luz Cruz of Allentown learned she had prediabetes, that’s what she did.

Cruz enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program at the Mark J. Young Community Health and Wellness Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street. It taught her how to eat healthy and exercise. Thanks to her new habits, she’s lost about 40 pounds and has more energy.

“People see me and aren’t sure it’s me,” Cruz says. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe too.”

She shares her success story to encourage others to get the same help.

Lehigh Valley Hospital Cited for the 19th Consecutive Year Among Best in U.S.

US News 2014 ranked in 10 specialtiesLehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) ranks for the 19th consecutive year as one of the nation’s top hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list.

The 2014-2015 list names LVH among the nation’s top 3 percent of leading hospitals in 10 categories: cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology. This is the first year in which the hospital ranked in double digits.

LVH’s cardiology and cardiac surgery; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology specialties also made the 2013-2014 Best Hospitals list. This is the 10th time cardiology and heart surgery; geriatrics; and urology have been on the list; the ninth for gastroenterology and GI surgery; the sixth for orthopedics; and the third for gynecology and pulmonology.

LVH is the only hospital in the area to make the U.S. News national rankings in at least one specialty area every year since 1996. Read More »

Lehigh Valley Health Network Performs 900th Organ Transplant

900 Transplants Since 1991For nearly five years, Dolores Gerber endured dialysis while waiting for a phone call from Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Transplant Center. On July 10, 2013, the 74-year-old Pottsville resident got the call and had her kidney transplant – the 900th transplant operation performed at LVHN since the program began in 1991.

Gerber woke up after the four-hour procedure with mixed emotions. “I was thrilled,” she says. “At the same time, it was hard to think someone had to die to make this possible.”

Gerber’s kidney failure is a secondary complication of her diabetes. She did not have any relatives or friends who could serve as a living kidney donor. Because she has a high level of antibodies, it also was difficult to find a matching cadaveric, or deceased, donor. Accepting this kind of challenge is what distinguishes LVHN, says Gerber’s surgeon, Michael Moritz, MD, with LVPG-Transplant Surgery. Read More »