Nearly 21 million Americans suffer from diabetes and an estimated 1.5 million more will be diagnosed in the coming year, making diabetes the fastest growing disease in America. What's more, an estimated 54 million people have pre-diabetes, which puts people at risk for diabetes and causes health complications of its own.
In diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't properly use insulin. Insulin helps the body convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy. When too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream, it can lead to kidney, eye and nerve problems. Diabetes also puts people at risk for heart disease and stroke. In pre-diabetes, people have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. New research shows that heart and circulatory damage can occur even during pre-diabetes, and self-management and treatment at this stage is essential to preventing both diabetes and serious complications.
While diabetes and pre-diabetes are serious conditions, they can be managed with careful monitoring of blood glucose levels, medication, and a healthy diet and exercise. At the Saint Joseph Health Diabetes & Nutrition Center, Lexington diabetes experts work with patients to help them understand the disease, control symptoms and minimize risk for complications. Because diabetes is a complex disease that can affect many organs and systems, the Diabetes & Nutrition Center works collaboratively with Saint Joseph Health other highly skilled specialists to deliver integrated, comprehensive care.
Education and Support
Because self-care is so important to controlling diabetes, in Lexington Diabetes & Nutrition Center offers a variety of education and support programs. Individual and group classes help people gain a sense of control over their body and the disease by providing tips and education on a variety of topics, including:
- meal planning
- exercise goals
- medication and insulin pump management
- glucose monitoring
- foot care
- eye care