Diabetes management a specialty for practice
A health practice with a specialty in diabetes management is helping patients to better understand their diagnosis.
Annabel Fountain, who launched her own practice, Fountain Health, at the end of last year, has spoken about its aims and its work to help patients with diabetes management.
She is a board certified endocrinologist and specialist in internal medicine. The practice is on Point Finger Road, Paget.
Dr Fountain said: “I’m very fastidious in keeping up to date as well as following international clinical guidelines in endocrinology and diabetes management, care and education.
“I assess individual patient characteristics to help choose their medications, and I’m interested in using newer diabetes medications that can help with weight loss and weight management.”
Dr Fountain is the current president of the Bermuda Medical Doctors Association and is on the board of the Bermuda Health Council. Other than diabetes, she also deals with patients with other hormone disorders, such as thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules, pituitary and adrenal tumours, adrenal failure, osteoporosis, fertility issues and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
However, diabetes management is a key speciality of Foundation Health. According to Dr Fountain, 74 per cent of Bermuda’s adult population is overweight or obese with rates of diabetes and complications rising exponentially. She is seeing significant obesity and even type 2 diabetes in children.
She said that most of the work with diabetes happens outside of the doctor’s office, depending on what patients choose to eat, whether they exercise and how they manage their stress. Her hope is to inspire patients to keep their diabetes under control and focus on lifestyle management in an effort to minimise the use of expensive medications and reduce the cost of their diabetes.
“Patients may come to me and they might have had diabetes for 20 years or more, but they’ve never understood it,” said Dr Fountain, who was the director of endocrinology for seven years at the Bermuda Hospitals Board before launching her own practice.
“When they start to understand it, it’s much easier for them to control it. I want my patients to be confident in their self-management.”
Along with specialising in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Dr Fountain is also an expert in diabetes in pregnancy, diabetic foot disease and technologies supporting diabetes such as continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pump therapy.
She takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, working with other team members to make sure every aspect of the diagnosis is cared for, such as managing eye, foot, kidney or dietary issues.
Dr Fountain has affiliations with overseas medical centres such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Lahey Hospital & Medical Centre, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
She said: “My role on the board of the Bermuda Health Council includes envisioning Bermuda as the healthiest island in the world. We do this by promoting an equitable and sustainable health system. Bermuda has a long way to go, but I feel that in my practice I’m supporting that goal.”
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