What is Diabetes?
Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, one of our nation’s fastest growing diseases. Sadly, a new case is diagnosed approximately every minute.
Diabetes may be a lifelong disease - but that doesn't mean it has to be a lifelong struggle. Many people with diabetes still live productive, enjoyable lives.
Diabetes occurs when glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood. Normally, the body converts food into glucose (sugar) to be used by the body's cells as energy. For glucose to get into the cells, the body needs insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. In people with diabetes, insulin is either absent, or the pancreas does not give off enough insulin. As a result, the body cannot use glucose for energy, and it begins to build up, creating high blood sugar levels in the body.
Types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of diabetes cases. People with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections. Although the disease can begin at any age, it is often diagnosed during childhood or puberty, which is why it is sometimes called juvenile diabetes. St. Luke’s provides pediatric diabetes care for these younger patients too. f
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of those diagnosed with diabetes. Thiis type often goes undetected for long periods of time because the symptoms develop slowly, or in some cases there are no symptoms at all. This form of diabetes most often occurs in adults , however there is now a growing number of children diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as well.
- Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy and usually disappears after.
St. Luke’s offers a free glucose meter program for pregnant women with this form of diabetes, along with some of Siouxland’s best pre-natal care when you’re preparing for baby.
Refer to our Diabetes Care Guide Information for warning signs, how to be tested and treatment methods.
St. Luke’s Diabetes Center
At St. Luke’s, managing your disease while maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is our goal. St. Luke’s Diabetes Center is among the nation’s best in caring for patients with diabetes. We were the first in Siouxland to become American Diabetes Association certified and state certified. The staff are all members of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, as well. St. Luke’s, as part of UnityPoint Health, was also honored with the Joint Commission Ernest Armory Codman Award.
Diabetes Monitoring and Management
St. Luke’s multi-disciplinary staff work closely with your primary care physician to tailor a diabetes treatment plan that’s right for your type of diabetes and lifestyle, along with coordinating your treatments with thorough utilization review.
St. Luke’s dieticians work with you to assemble a proper diet and nutrition plan, which is key in managing diabetes. The diabetes nurse educators help you control diabetes in other ways.They teach you about:
- improving blood pressure and cholesterol
- caring for eyes and feet
- obtaining regular physicals and medical exams
- getting regular exercise
- regular blood glucose testing
St. Luke’s Diabetes Center is the first in Siouxland to offer iPro CGMS Monitoring, which can help you develop an individual diabetes management plan. We also offer insulin pump therapy initiation, with follow-up by a certified pump trainer, and free sharps containers for lancet, needle and syringe disposal. The Sharps Containers are provided by the Cosmopolitan Club of Sioux City.
Knowledge is one of your best tools in fighting diabetes. Along with healthy living tips to help prevent certain types of diabetes, St. Luke’s offers diabetes education classes that cover a variety of topics, from how to monitor blood glucose levels to diet and exercise. St. Luke's utilizes a team of doctors, diabetes nurse educators and dieticians to provide self management education.
- One-on-one or group classes
- Information on monitoring, maintenance, nutrition and foot care
- Referrals for home healthcare or financial counseling
- Diabetes education for schools