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Diabetes services

People with diabetes no longer have to manage it alone. Grant Regional Health Center has a self-care program specifically designed for people with diabetes. Grant Regional recognizes that helping people stay healthy prevents, slows or decreases the serious complications of diabetes.

The program is designed to help people learn about diabetes, make lifestyle changes, control symptoms and, best of all, avoid life-threatening complications.

Diabetes is a chronic disease. People live with this condition every day, and treatment relies heavily on the person diagnosed. This offers great freedom but also considerable responsibility for anyone with this condition. People living with diabetes can use Grant Regional's program as a helpful resource for controlling symptoms, preventing complications and managing their condition.

Role of a certified diabetes care and education specialist

A certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) is typically a registered nurse or dietitian who has chosen to focus on diabetes education. There are only 10,000 CDCESs in the United States. Earning this certification requires having considerable experience in patient education and passing an examination that leads to a solid foundation for educating people with diabetes. CDCESs provide comprehensive diabetes education and instruction to inpatients and outpatients, as well as their families and loved ones. Tracy Roesch, RD is the diabetes educator for Grant Regional.

About the credential

A CDCES is a health professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes prevention, prediabetes and diabetes management. The CDCES educates, supports and advocates for people affected by diabetes, addressing the stages of diabetes throughout the lifespan. The CDCES promotes self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that reduce risks and optimize health outcomes. The certification examination for diabetes care and education specialists is designed and intended for health professionals who have responsibilities that include the direct provision of diabetes education (DE), as defined by CBDCE. The credential is a professionally recognized achievement and a sought-after mark of excellence in the diabetes community.

Certification statistics

The CDCES credential is held by registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, registered dietitian nutritionists, pharmacists, physicians, PAs and other health professionals participating as members of the diabetes care team. Almost 19,900 individuals as of January 2020 hold the credential. 33% of those are under the age of 40, and that number is growing! Approximately 1,200 newly certified health professionals have become certified each year for the last five years.

Program components

Grant Regional considers a self-management program an essential component of diabetes treatment. Our CDCES helps people fit diabetes into their lives—not letting their lives be run by diabetes. They teach people how to monitor blood sugar levels at home, protect their feet, take medications safely, plan proper meals and fit exercise into a busy lifestyle while making it fun and enjoyable.

One of the most essential and difficult parts of the diabetes management puzzle is learning and practicing good nutrition. Roesch offers expertise to help people set and attain nutrition goals. According to Roesch, meal planning is a difficult component to master.

"The information we provide are lessons that should be learned and practiced for a lifetime," says Roesch. "We teach lifestyle changes, not simply a diet."

The program provides a wealth of information, including basic skills for self care, warning signs and symptoms, stress management, exercise and basic nutrition. All of these topics are discussed in a comfortable group setting with medical professionals who are specifically trained in diabetes management.

While close to 16 million Americans are living with diabetes, another 5.4 million Americans have diabetes and don't know it. Each day approximately 2,200 people are diagnosed with diabetes, and about 798,000 people will be diagnosed this year alone. Experts predict that more people will be diagnosed as our society ages and becomes less active and more overweight.

Long-term complications

Diabetes can be a silent killer, and unfortunately, it is still a main cause of long-term complications and healthcare expenses. Diabetes accounts for $92 billion to $138 billion in healthcare expenses annually in the United States. Many people first become aware that they have diabetes when they develop one of its life-threatening complications:

  • Blindness. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people ages 20 to 74. Each year, 12,000 to 24,000 people lose their sight because of diabetes.
  • Kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, accounting for about 40 percent of new cases.
  • Nerve disease and amputations. About 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetes-related nerve damage, which, in severe forms, can lead to lower-limb amputations. The risk of leg amputation is 15 to 40 times greater for a person with diabetes. Each year more than 56,000 amputations are performed on people with diabetes.
  • Heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease, which is present in 75% of diabetes-related deaths. More than 77,000 deaths are due to heart disease annually. And people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer a stroke.

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with diabetes and is looking for more information and guidance, Grant Regional Health Center has the resources to help. We will work with your physician to design a treatment plan that will help you learn to manage diabetes and improve the quality of your life. Most health insurances provide coverage for a comprehensive diabetes education program.

The good news is that current research shows that people with good control of their diabetes who see their healthcare team regularly have fewer complications and lead healthier lives. One gentleman with diabetes puts it best: "I'm so glad I've got diabetes...I've never been healthier!"

Types of diabetes

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin. It occurs most often in children and young adults and accounts for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Daily insulin injections are essential for people with type 1 diabetes.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body either does not make enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin it makes. It accounts for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can often control the disorder through weight reduction, improved nutrition and exercise. In some cases, these efforts are insufficient and oral medications and/or insulin injections must also be used.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes affects up to 5% of all pregnant women, usually during the second or third trimester, but it disappears when the pregnancy is over. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Other forms of diabetes

Other rare forms of diabetes can sometimes be triggered by surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, or other illnesses and conditions.

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