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Managing your diabetes can be complicated and is very personal. Becoming an active participant in your care helps you control your diabetes while taking charge of your life.

The healthcare professionals on the diabetes team work closely with patients and their primary care physicians to improve and monitor management of the disease. Their goal is to teach those with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes the proper knowledge and management strategies to achieve a high quality of life.

Effects of Diabetes On Your Body

The main goal of your healthcare team is to keep your blood glucose levels within target ranges (before meals: 80-130 mg/dl; and 2 hours after the onset of a meal: less than 180 mg/dl). Blood glucose levels that are well controlled help you to stay as healthy as possible and to feel your best.

Looking at the short-term effects, high blood glucose levels can make it easier to get infections and harder to treat them. Long-term effects of chronic, poorly managed blood glucose levels may include eye, nerve, kidney, heart, mouth, skin and feet complications. The chance of developing high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol are also increased in people with diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and the American Diabetes Association.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia and is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly, sometimes referred to as ‘insulin resistance’. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. Learn more about type 2 diabetes and the American Diabetes Association.

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy some women may develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important to follow your doctor's advice, attend all of your doctor’s appointments, follow a healthy eating pattern and be physically active to manage blood glucose (sugar), the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Learn more about gestational diabetes and the American Diabetes Association.

To contact the diabetes care team:
In the Butler area, call 1-833- 604-7211
In the Westmoreland area, call 724-537-1049

Available services:

  • Individual appointments with the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) - Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, cover the cost of individual diabetes education. In the first year a person is referred, they are typically eligible for up to 10 hours of diabetes self-management education and support training (DSMES/T). Please contact your insurance provider to confirm your eligibility.
  • Certified diabetes care and education specialists offer medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for patients with diabetes. MNT provides a supportive counseling and training service in which patients can define objectives and priorities and create action plans unique to their condition and needs.
    Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, cover the cost of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for diabetes. Please contact your insurance provider to confirm your eligibility.
  • Classes - Educational class opportunities are designed to help you understand your condition and take charge of your health and your diabetes journey. If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes these classes may be helpful in familiarizing yourself with the terminology.

To learn more about upcoming classes, please visit the Classes & Events calendar. Classes are offered through the Lifestyle Coaching team, as well as at other various locations.

  • Diabetes Device Pre-Training and Ongoing Support Training - Patients have access to training on the use of their diabetes devices including insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, smart insulin pens, insulin injection ports, and automated insulin delivery systems. Proper self-management is possible with an understanding of the tools and equipment. The diabetes team provides pre-training and ongoing therapy optimization support training so patients can be empowered in their own care.
  • Telehealth - One-on-one discussions with team members through your smart phone, tablet, or computer can help you get real advice and help when it matters. Professionals can assist with problem solving, supporting your goals, meal planning and portions, understanding and managing your medications, and more. To schedule a telehealth visit, please call 833-604-7211.

Eating Right with Diabetes

Create Your Plate

The American Diabetes Association “Create Your Plate” is a simple and effective way to manage your blood glucose and weight. With this method, you fill your plate with more non-starchy veggies and smaller portions of starchy special tools or counting required! You can practice with this interactive tool. The healthy meal combinations are endless!

Learn more about creating your plate at the American Diabetes Association website.

7-Day Diabetes Friendly Diet

The diabetes healthcare team took the guesswork out of following a diabetic diet by putting together a seven-day, 1600 calorie meal plan, including three meals plus snacks. These meals include key vitamins and minerals, avoid refined grains, and limit added sugars. Plus, recipes are included for select items. Each meal and snack is planned to help you keep your blood sugar in check.

Download 7-day diabetes friendly plan here.

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