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8/16/10: Free diabetes discussion group offered on August 20

Emerson Hospital will offer a free diabetes discussion group meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 20. Meetings take place in the conference room on the first floor of Emerson’s Center for Specialty Care, located less than a mile from the hospital on Baker Avenue. 

“This is an informal, relaxed group,” said Cheryl Laundry, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes educator at Emerson Hospital. “Patients discuss strategies that work for them and look for suggestions from other patients who have diabetes.” All discussion topics are diabetes-related issues that concern patients. 

This month’s discussion topic is diabetic neuropathy, the most common form of neuropathy, which accounts for 50-75% of non-traumatic amputations and is among the most frequent complication of diabetes.   Neuropathic pain can be described as a deep-seated gnawing, like a toothache or crushing cramp-like pain.  Pain can affect blood sugars and quality of life. Pain is an electrical signal that travels along nerve fibers through the spinal cord to the brain.

At the discussion group, Dr. Alexios Carayannopoulos, a Lahey Clinic interventional physiatrist who practices at Emerson Hospital, will present information on a drug-free therapy to control neuropathic pain using spinal cord stimulation therapy.    The therapy masks pain signals by delivering tiny doses of electricity to change the pain signal into something that the brain interprets as a pleasant sensation, feeling like a gentle tingling or massage.

Dr. Carayannopoulos is an osteopathic physician who is Board-certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as pain medicine. He is the medical director of the Lahey Spine Center, which specializes in comprehensive spine care, including surgical and non-surgical approaches. He completed his residency at Harvard Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and his fellowship in the department of anesthesia at Dartmouth Medical School and Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H. Additionally, Dr Carayannopoulos is a Harvard-trained medical acupuncturist, and U.S. Navy-trained specialist in diving and undersea medicine. He is a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps.  He has an office in Concord at 54 Baker Avenue Extension, suite 203.

For more information on Emerson’s diabetes discussion groups, call Cheryl Laundry at 978.287.8590 or e-mail claundry@emersonhosp.org.