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Focus on Conditions: Diabetes
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The American Diabetes Association advises that there are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people (or nearly one quarter) are unaware they have the disease.
Your risk for diabetes goes up as you get older, gain weight, or if you do not stay active. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
How do I know if I have Diabetes?
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. Most people with diabetes do not notice any symptoms. Some diabetes symptoms include:
If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.
In order to determine if you have diabetes, The American Diabetes Association recommends that your health care provider conduct a blood test known as a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG). This test needs to be done either at the doctor’s office or lab and you must have nothing to eat for more than eight hours prior to the test. A person with a FPG level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes. If the FPG level is between 100 and 125 mg/dl, this indicates the condition known as pre-diabetes.
In addition to the Diabetes medical care provided at each of the CHSLI hospitals, there are three Diabetes Care Centers within the CHSLI System. The Diabetes Care Centers of St. Charles, Good Samaritan, St. Francis Hospitals, Mercy Medical Center, and St. Josephs Hospital provide a comprehensive educational program for people with diabetes and their families. Our emphasis is to increase knowledge, treatment, and self-management of diabetes, so you can identify and prevent possible complications to take control of the disease and your life.
Our curriculum is a recognized educational program of the American Diabetes Association and is consistent with the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Programs. Our programs are designed to equip you with the tools and information that will lead to optimum health and improvement in your blood sugar control.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Program
Participants receive an 8-10 hour course, provided over 4-6 sessions, with small group instruction for a unique, personalized learning environment. The program includes lectures, demonstrations and other learning activities to keep class time engaging as well as instructive.
Educational self-management topics include:
Individual consultations are also available with a Registered Nurse/Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a Registered Dietitian/CDE. At the St. Charles Hospital program, a clinical health psychologist who is also a CDE is available for individual consultations, as well.
A doctor’s referral is needed if you decide to enroll. Most insurance providers, including Medicare, cover the cost of diabetes education. Please be sure to make the necessary contact with your insurance companies regarding your coverage for the program.
Gestational Diabetes Program
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. It is very important to have the blood sugar be well-controlled for the health of the baby. The Diabetes Care Centers at St. Charles and Good Samaritan Hospitals have gestational diabetes management instruction. These programs can help pregnant women care for themselves and for their babies by teaching participants to monitor their blood glucose and to follow an individualized meal plan to achieve optimal blood sugar. Insulin training can also be provided, if needed.
We at the Diabetes Care Centers of the Catholic Health Services welcome you to participate in our diabetes self-management classes. We look forward to working with you through this educational experience.
To contact us:
St. Charles Hospital Diabetes Care Center:
St. Francis Hospital Diabetes Care Center:
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center Diabetes Care Center:
Mercy Medical Center Diabetes Care Center:
St. Josephs Hospital Diabetes Care Center:
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