Diabetes Treatment and Services
Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce insulin or does not properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other foods into the energy needed for daily life. Diabetes can be caused by genetic or environmental factors. Obesity and inactivity can also play a role in the development of diabetes.
The following symptoms may be warning signs of diabetes.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Sudden vision changes
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Feeling very tired much of the time
- Very dry skin
- Sores that are slow to heal
- More infections than usual
Monitoring blood glucose levels, ensuring proper nutrition and adequate exercise and maintaining foot care is important on a daily basis for patients with diabetes. Additionally, patients with diabetes often require special attention when undergoing surgery or treatment for other ailments.
Inpatient services for diabetes
The Diabetes Treatment Centers' inpatient services help monitor diabetic patients’ health closely so they can heal as quickly as possible.
- Daily chart audits help ensure proper blood glucose control.
- Monitoring and support are provided by the diabetes care team.
- Individualized disease management counseling is available.
- A “survival skills notebook” helps patients understand more about diabetes and learn new ways to manage it.
- Access to other specialists is available to address special diabetes-related complications such as vision and circulation problems, heart disease or increased risk of stroke.
- An outpatient program assists patients following discharge.
Outpatient services for diabetes
The Diabetes Treatment Centers' outpatient services help ensure continued wellness through education.
The Diabetes Self-management Program is a six-hour, physician-referred class for patients. Family members and friends are invited to attend and learn alongside their loved ones. Specially trained registered nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators explain how to manage diabetes through nutrition, lifestyle changes, exercise and - when appropriate - proper use of medications. Patients learn why standards of care - having their blood glucose levels, eyes and feet checked regularly - are essential to their health. Class participants also learn about the long-term complications of diabetes.
After the course, patients remain in the Diabetes Self-management Program for one year, giving them free access to many resources at the Diabetes Treatment Centers.
Physician referral is required for the Diabetes Self-management Program. The cost of the course may often be billed to an insurance provider, or patients may choose to pay out-of-pocket.
Glucommander is an innovative, computerized system that works in conjunction with an insulin drip to help monitor critically ill patients with diabetes. In the event a patient’s blood sugar level is too high or low, the Glucommander will trigger an alarm, prompting caregivers to verify the patient’s blood sugar level and take appropriate action. Supplementing expert care from physicians and support staff, Glucommander is an effective tool that helps patients get back on their feet by maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels.
Wellmont Health System utilizes Glucommander in critical-care units, emergency rooms and birthing suites and during surgery. Holston Valley Medical Center, Bristol Regional Medical Center and Hawkins County Memorial Hospital and the only facilities in the region to offer this technology.
Diabetes Treatment Centers
Diabetes Treatment Center outreach programs