Diabetes Treatment and Education
Eden Medical Center's Diabetes education program and treatments can help you gain control of your type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Our “Keys to Living Well with Diabetes” program will help you gain a better understanding about diabetes by learning how it affects your body, how to control diabetes through healthful eating, how to take care of your body and maintain appropriate blood sugar levels, and how to avoid complications. Eden’s Medical Center’s goal for people with diabetes is to return to living full and active lifestyles. To us, success means changed lives.
Learn About Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar) is an inability to metabolize carbohydrates resulting from inadequate production or utilization of insulin. People with diabetes cannot properly process glucose, a sugar the body uses for energy. As a result, glucose stays in the blood and causes blood glucose to rise. At the same time, however, the cells of the body can be starved for glucose. Diabetes can lead to poor wound healing, higher risk of infections and many other problems involving the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.
Two Types of Diabetes Mellitus
In type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes, the pancreas cannot make the insulin needed to process glucose. Natural therapies cannot cure type 1 diabetes but may help by making the body more receptive to insulin supplied by injection. It is particularly critical for people with type 1 diabetes to consult with the doctor prescribing insulin before contemplating the use of any herbs, supplements or dietary changes mentioned in this article. Any change that makes the body more receptive to insulin could require critical changes in insulin dosage that must be determined by the treating physician.
With type 2, or non-insulin-dependent, diabetes, the pancreas often makes enough insulin, but the body has trouble utilizing it. Type 2 diabetes frequently responds well to natural therapies.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and possibly increased appetite. These symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few days to weeks. Occasionally symptoms are first noticed after an illness, such as the flu. People may think the diabetes symptoms are related to the illness and not seek medical care early.
The blood sugar level may become very high before a person seeks medical care. Symptoms of very high blood sugar include:
- Flushed, hot, dry skin
- Loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and vomiting
- A strong, fruity breath odor (similar to nail polish remover or acetone)
- Fast and shallow breathing
- Restlessness, drowsiness, difficulty waking up, confusion, or coma
How Is It Treated?
Treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels within a safe range. Treatment includes eating a balanced diet that spreads carbohydrates throughout the day, taking insulin, monitoring blood sugar levels at home, getting regular exercise and possibly taking medication. Treatment is adjusted based on the results of daily home blood sugar tests and other tests and examinations.
In special situations, a person may have surgery to provide pancreas cells that produce insulin. When a person is going to have or has had a kidney transplant, he or she may receive a pancreas transplant. Surgery to insert working pancreas cells (islet cell transplant) is being done in some research studies. Both surgeries are very expensive, and afterward the person must take medication to prevent the body from rejecting the new tissue (immunosuppressant medications) for the rest of his or her life.
Upon discharge, Eden Medical Center's diabetic educator is available for follow up calls to patients if they need further training and education. In addition, Eden offers diabetic counseling to those who need an individualized treatment program. This requires a physician's order, a prescription and/or insurance authorization. Such appointments can be made on Tuesdays, 1 to 7:30 p.m., or on Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Every quarter Eden also offers Diabetes Education: Keys to Living Well with Diabetes, a free two-part program to help people gain a better understanding about diabetes.
To speak with someone about Eden Medical Center's diabetes education and treatment services, please call (510) 537-1234 ext. 4452.