Diabetes Care

We’re Here to Help You Take Charge of Your Diabetes

The incidence of diabetes is growing. Meritus Health’s goal is to curb the growth of diabetes in our community and help those diagnosed with diabetes live a happy and healthy life.

Diabetes is often a silent disease and some people have no symptoms of high blood sugar for years. Left untreated or uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to many troublesome health conditions including vision problems, heart trouble, digestive issues, kidney and nerve damage and more.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, we can give you the support and tools you need to successfully manage your condition.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that means your body does not make enough insulin. Or it means that your body is not able to use the insulin it makes. Your body needs the hormone insulin to change blood sugar (glucose) into energy. Without insulin, too much glucose collects in your blood. Diabetes may also be a result of other conditions. These include genetic syndromes, chemicals, medicines, pancreatitis, infections, and viruses.

Diabetes can be one of three types: type 1, type 2, or gestational. All 3 are metabolic disorders that affect the way the body uses (metabolizes) food to make glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.

Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination (especially at night)
  • Unexplained increase in appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Erection problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands or feet

To find out if you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes take the Risk Test through the American Diabetes Association

Risk Factors

People who have diabetes are at increased risk for many serious health problems, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart problems, eye problems that can lead to blindness, circulation and nerve problems, and kidney disease and kidney failure.

Pregnant women with uncontrolled diabetes have an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

Diabetes is treated with diet and lifestyle changes and with medicines (such as insulin or oral medicines). If blood sugar levels are kept within the recommended range, the risk for many complications from diabetes decreases.

Treatment

Specific treatment for diabetes will be discussed with you by your health care provider based on:

  • Type of diabetes
  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference
  • Cost

Prediabetes

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.

How Can You Control It?

  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight by exercising more, reducing portion sizes and recording what you eat.
  • Eat well. Build a healthy plate of half leafy greens, a quarter lean protein and a quarter whole grain. Plan your meals and learn about good nutrition from a registered dietitian
  • Be active by walking every day, using the stairs whenever possible and wearing an activity tracker. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week.

Risk factors for prediabetes include age (especially after 45 years of age); being overweight; a family history of diabetes; having an African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander ethnic background; having gestational diabetes; having given birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more; and being physically inactive.

If you are concerned about prediabetes, talk to your primary care physician about tests to detect the condition.

Take the Online Risk Test For Prediabetes >

Meritus Diabetes Services

Diabetes Self-Management – Managing diabetes starts with diabetes education. At Meritus Diabetes Education, our certified diabetes educators offer a diabetes self-management program recognized by the American Diabetes Association.

Meritus Endocrinology – If your primary care physician has diagnosed you with type 2 diabetes, he/she may refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a specialist with advanced training of the endocrine system and often treats people with diabetes. While many people receive excellent diabetes support from their primary care provider, some doctors may recommend an evaluation with a diabetes specialist. The providers of Meritus Endocrinology can offer you diabetes-specific guidance and the best possible treatment plan

Diabetic Wound Care – When you have diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugar can put you at risk for developing diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic wounds can be slow to heal and require immediate medical attention and monitoring. At the Wound Center, a physician trained in wound care tailors a diabetic wound treatment plan specific to your individual needs.

Primary Care – With the incidence of diabetes on the rise, Meritus Medical Group’s primary care physicians offer immediate help for patients who are newly diagnosed with diabetes or struggle to control the disease. Certified diabetes educators provide individual support in one our eight primary care offices and help patients learn how to:

  • Cope with a diabetes diagnosis
  • Make lifestyle changes
  • Use medications and/or administer insulin injections
  • Keep track of blood sugar levels
  • Watch for symptoms of low and high blood sugar

Equipped for Life – When you’re living with diabetes, you have a lot to manage-supplies being one of them. Thankfully, Equipped for Life has everything you need to remain healthy. From glucose meters, to syringes, lancet devices and diabetic foot care, Equipped for Life’s knowledgeable staff is your one source for diabetic supplies.

Diabetes Resources

The Meritus Diabetes Support Group invites people diagnosed with diabetes and their family members to share their experiences in a nurturing environment. Guest speakers offer tips and resources on diabetes management. The support group meets the first Monday of every month at 11 a.m. in the MEND education conference room.

Diabetes resources and helpful links:

Diabetes Care