WASHINGTON, Mo. – People with type 2 diabetes who need help keeping their numbers in control, are not alone. About 26 million people in the United States – about 8 percent of the population – have diabetes and another 79 million people have health factors for developing diabetes, or prediabetes.
During National Diabetes Week, Nov. 11-15, Mercy offers help to people with diabetes and encourages people with risk factors to get tested for diabetes. Excess weight – a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more – puts people at high risk for acquiring life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition whereby the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport sugar from the blood into the cells of the body for energy. Complications from diabetes include increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, nerve and organ damage, amputations and blindness. Managing diabetes can remove these risks.
Mercy helps people struggling with type 2 diabetes. The staff at Mercy Clinic Diabetes and Nutrition Center teaches diabetes management through diet, exercise and medications.
“Diabetes can be controlled so that it doesn’t disrupt peoples’ lives. It’s a matter of learning and practicing new habits,” said Kathleen Honick, clinical supervisor and certified diabetes educator. “We help patients set reachable goals, create healthy meal plans, help with blood glucose monitoring and reducing stress. These things can help manage diabetes and reduce complications from diabetes.”
As many as 7 million people could have diabetes and not know it. Risk factors include family history, being overweight or obese, carrying weight in one’s abdomen, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The staff at Mercy Clinic Diabetes and Nutrition Center includes registered certified diabetes educators (CDE), dietitians, registered nurses, and a social worker. The diabetes education program is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) for meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-management Education. AADE status means the center provides the most effective and up-to-date diabetes care available.
For more information, call the Mercy Clinic Diabetes and Nutrition Center at the Mercy Medical Building South (901 Patients First Drive in Washington) at 636-390-1684 or the Mercy Medical Building North (851 E. Fifth St., Suite 154, in Washington) at 636-239-8248. The team also sees patients at Mercy Clinic offices in Eureka, O’Fallon, Mo., St. Clair, Sullivan, Sunset Hills and Union.