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

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 Dr. Rama Poola, endocrinologist with Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group in Springfield. “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.

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
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 217-787-8870 or go online at hshsmedicalgroup.org/Joslin.

Those living with diabetes need to be especially careful about potential or existing chronic wounds. If you develop a diabetic foot ulcer, HSHS St. John’s Regional Wound Care Center provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds, which are sores or wounds that have not significantly improved from conventional treatments. Contact St. John’s Regional Wound Care Center to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule a consultation, call 217-757-6644. Patients may be seen with or without a physician's referral.

Media Contact

Jennifer Snopko

Manager - Marketing and Communications
HSHS St. John's Hospital
Office: (217) 814-7857

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