O'FALLON — HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group and HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center are educating the community about diabetes prevention and management during National Diabetes Awareness Month. Since 1991, World Diabetes Day has been observed on Nov. 14 each year in response to growing concerns about the rise of diabetes around the world.

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According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 463 million adults throughout the world currently have diabetes. That equates to one in 11 people living with the disease. Most cases of diabetes are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet.

“Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly and can be subtle,” says Jeanette Martineau, RN, BSN, clinical program director at St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center. “Many people with the disease have no symptoms. That's why it's important to know the signs so you can watch for even small changes in these areas.” It's also why your doctor may test you for it if you're at risk, even if you don't have symptoms.

Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of the disease. The IDF estimates one in two people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. Symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed, but they include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling hungry, even when eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in hands and feet

Because these symptoms could be caused by a number of things, talk with your doctor if any of these symptoms persist for you. He/she can evaluate your risk and completed bloodwork which can diagnose diabetes. You can also take a one-minute Diabetes Risk Test through the American Diabetes Association to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The risk test can be found at diabetes.org/risk-test.

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The good news is – you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Even if you have prediabetes, there are many factors you can control, such as diet and physical activity. Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. Seeing a dietitian and diabetes educator early on can help prevent diabetes and complications from uncontrolled diabetes.

Local Services Available

St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center offers an advanced, comprehensive wound care program to manage chronic or non-healing wounds caused by diabetes, circulatory problems, and other conditions. Patients can be seen with or without a physician’s referral.

Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group has locations in Decatur, Effingham, O’Fallon, and Springfield, Illinois. The highly-specialized team of experts – board-certified endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators and dieticians – work together to provide patients with the tools they need to manage their diabetes and live their best life. For more information about its comprehensive diabetes care or to register for a no-charge comprehensive education class, accredited by the American Diabetes Association, call 618-589-9051.

For more information on diabetes, visit worlddiabetesday.org.

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

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