What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose level rises above the normal range. A hormone known as insulin helps regulate the level of sugar in the bloodstream. In type 1 diabetes, there is very little or no insulin produced. This type of diabetes usually occurs in children and younger adults. Insulin injections are required on a daily basis to treat type 1 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, there may be too much or too little insulin produced. In addition, the insulin does not work effectively which is known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes occurs more commonly in inactive overweight adults. With rising rates of obesity, some children and teens are now being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a diet that promotes weight loss, exercise, and oral medications. Insulin may also be required to treat type 2 diabetes.
Why Control Diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, insulin treatment is life-sustaining. Those with type one diabetes will develop a fatal condition know as diabetic ketoacidosis if they do not take insulin on a regular basis. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it is important to control the blood glucose level as close to normal as possible. Years of elevated blood glucose can increase the risk of kidney damage, loss of eyesight and nerve damage. Those with diabetes are also a much greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke and should be treated to reduce the risk of these problems. This often includes taking aspirin daily, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol level, exercising and eating a healthy diet.
If you have diabetes and are considering becoming pregnant or if you develop diabetes during pregnancy called gestational diabetes, maintaining tight control of your blood sugars will minimize the risk of developing any diabetes related health problems for you and your baby. Columbia St. Mary's Diabetes & Pregnancy Services can help you learn how to effectively manage you diabetes.
Services of the Diabetes Treatment Center
The Diabetes Treatment Center at Columbia St. Mary's offers comprehensive help for people with diabetes. Center staff work together with you and your physician to achieve the results you want. Our team includes:
A psychologist who works only with individuals with diabetes. The psychologists understands the type of stress many people with diabetes face. Individual, family or group sessions are available to help people with diabetes more effectively cope with stress and depression and help change unhealthy behavior to healthy behavior.
An exercise physiologist who specializes in helping people with diabetes. Regular exercise is essential to improving health and is especially important if you have diabetes. The exercise physiologist can help you improve your level of fitness and obtain the best possible diabetes control.
Dietitians are available and can help you choose the foods that help you bring your diabetes under control.
Nurses who specialize in diabetes can provide help with blood glucose meters and sensors, insulin pumps, medications, and adjustment of insulin to achieve better glucose control.
To Learn More
Services of the Diabetes Treatment Center are offered at numerous locations. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 414-585-1060.