Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital has primary care doctors and specialists in endocrinology, who can treat and help you manage your diabetes. Our certified diabetes educators (CDE) which include, a registered nurse and 2 registered dietitians, provide a diabetes education program that is accredited by the American Diabetes Association.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, you are not alone. According to the American Diabetes Association and the CDC, an estimated 25.8 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and 79 million have prediabetes. About 2 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes each year.
How Do Endocrinologists Treat Diabetes?
Most patients are diagnosed with diabetes and treated for diabetes by their primary care physician (internal medicine or pediatrics/adolescent medicine or family practice). However, an endocrinologist is a physician who has training in internal medicine and also specialized training in the endocrine system enabling them to treat such disorders as diabetes. Endocrinology focuses primarily on the endocrine organs: the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas. The primary function of the endocrine organs is hormone secretion. The pancreas produces several hormones including insulin. Insulin regulates our body’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Insulin helps move blood sugar into our cells. If you have diabetes you are not making enough insulin or you are not able to use the insulin properly and your blood glucose or blood sugar is higher than normal.
An endocrinologist can help diabetic patients restore the normal balance of hormones in the body. Endocrinologists treat diabetes with diet and blood sugar reducing medications. They also work closely with patients to control blood sugar in order to decrease or prevent the health complications associated with diabetes. Endocrinologists may also refer their patients to dietitians and diabetes educators for additional counseling and education. Click here to find an endocrinologist on staff at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes also called diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolism disorders that revolves around the body’s inability to regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. There are several types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational. There’s also a condition known as prediabetes, in which not all the criteria for diabetes type 2 has been met.
Diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease that affects nearly every part of the body. Complications of poorly controlled diabetes include blindness, heart disease, stroke, neurological problems and amputation, which is why it must be managed under the care of a doctor. However with proper management, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle choices you can reduce your risk of complications. And we can help.
Why is Insulin Important?
Insulin is a hormone in our body that regulates blood sugar levels. It allows glucose to enter the cells in the body to provide energy. Everyone needs insulin to survive and people with diabetes either don't produce insulin or don't use insulin properly.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of Diabetes
The following are the most common symptoms of all types of diabetes.
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Intense hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
- Blurred vision
- Wounds that don't heal quickly
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
- Mood changes/irritability
Complications from Poorly Managed Diabetes
All types of diabetes are treatable. The following are common complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes.
- Eye problems: glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy
- Foot problems: ulcers, amputation and diabetic neuropathy
- Heart problems: stroke, heart disease
- PAD (peripheral artery disease)
- Kidney disease
- Skin infections and chronic open wounds
- Gum disease
- Hearing problems
Diabetes and nutrition counseling services is located on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Medical Office Building 1.
1040 N. Mason Road
Medical Office Building 1, Suite 103
Creve Coeur, MO 63141