Endocrinology at Avita
The endocrine system is a collection of glands that release hormones throughout your body. These hormones regulate many of your body’s biological processes, including metabolism (how your body uses energy), blood sugar, body growth, development, energy production, sleep, reproduction, and mood. When imbalanced, hormones can greatly affect how your body functions. You may produce too many hormones or too few – both of which can cause a wide range of health issues. In some cases, such as with thyroid disorders, your hormones can cause weight gain or loss and may lead to serious health conditions if left untreated. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to your overall well-being, including your hormonal health.
Some of the common endocrine disorders that we treat include:
- Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes
- Thyroid Conditions (Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, and Goiter)
- Addison’s Disease
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Cancers of the Endocrine Glands
- Metabolic Disorders
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body does not produce or properly use the hormone insulin. When we eat, our body turns food into blood glucose (sugar) which then enters the bloodstream. Insulin, made from the pancreas, helps the sugar enter our cells for energy. A lack of insulin leads to a build up of too much sugar in your blood, which can cause damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs. If left untreated, uncontrolled high blood sugar can result in life-threatening complications, including heart disease/stroke, kidney failure, and blindness.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes – Your body stops producing enough insulin. It is usually diagnosed in children, teenagers, and young adults. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable. It is the result of your immune system accidentally attacking and destroying the cells in your pancreas that create insulin. Type 1 diabetes can be managed with the use of insulin shots or a pump, in addition to regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and sleep.
- Type 2 diabetes – Occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or use it effectively. Over 90% of people with diabetes have type 2. It mainly affects adults, but can also occur in children, teenagers, and young adults. If you have type 2 diabetes, you develop an insulin resistance, which means the cells in your body do not respond normally to insulin. Your pancreas produces more insulin to trigger the cells to respond, but it can’t keep up and your blood sugar eventually rises to unhealthy levels.
There is also prediabetes. This occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes will greatly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but can be prevented with lifestyle changes as well as medications. This includes eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular exercise.
Care and Education
Avita Health System has an accredited diabetes education program for patients diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes. We offer one-on-one appointments, classes, and diabetes support groups. Appointments are available at Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario Hospitals.
Avita’s diabetes care and education specialists have extensive knowledge and experience with diabetes prevention and management. The role of a specialist is to help educate, support, and advocate for individuals affected with prediabetes and diabetes. They do this by promoting self-management to reach treatment goals, reduce risks, and optimize health outcomes.
Topics that a diabetes care and education specialist can discuss includes, but is not limited to:
- Diabetes prevention
- Laboratory blood tests
- How to check blood sugar and problem solving
- High blood sugar
- Low blood sugar
- Physical activity and exercise
- Coping with diabetes
- Lifestyle changes
- Healthy eating
A diabetes care and education specialist can help you take charge of your diabetes by creating a plan and providing support and encouragement throughout your diabetes journey. With diabetes, there are no days off and accomplishments should be rewarded!
To get started, ask your doctor for a diabetes education referral to Avita’s diabetes care and education specialists or call 419-563-9323.