November is National Diabetes Month


Gibson City, Ill. (WCIA)

November is National Diabetes Month and Gibson Area Hospital joins us to share a personal story about diabetes.

Eileen is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) at Gibson Area Hospital. She’s been providing support to people with diabetes in the area for over 20 years, but it was September 30th, 2019 that all that training became helpful for her own family.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive.

Signs of Type 1 Diabetes
• Frequent urination
• Increased thirst
• Dry mouth
• Itchy or dry skin
• Increased appetite
• Unexplained weight loss
• Yeast infections

The Walter’s family lives are much different than they were a year ago. Since Elliott’s diagnosis he now has an insulin pump (no more insulin injections) and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), which provides blood sugar readings every 5 minutes. These have made their lives much easier, but they still have a lot to do each day:
• Monitor his blood sugar all hours of the day and night
• Monitor what he eats
• Encourage physical activity to help lower his blood sugar
• Treat his highs with insulin
• Treat his lows with carbohydrate
• Depending on the day, change his insulin pump
• Depending on the day, change his CGM

Eileen is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. CDCES’s provide support to people with diabetes as well as their family or caretakers. Diabetes can be stressful and overwhelming, and working with a diabetes care and education specialist can help with that stress and empower people to be successful in managing their diabetes.

People with diabetes should see a CDCES:
• At Diagnosis
• Annually and/or when not meeting treatment targets
• When complicating factors develop
• When transitions in life or care occur

Gibson Area Hospital offers diabetes education to all people with diabetes in a friendly, small town atmosphere.

Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services Diabetes Support group meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm in Gibson City. Next meeting is February 11th, 2021.

Those interested in meeting with the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at Gibson Area Hospital can contact Eileen Woolums at 217-784-4093.

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