Patient education helps manage diabetes

Like many hospitals in Ontario, Windsor Regional Hospital has a robust Diabetic Clinic for both children and adults. Knowing that up to 85 per cent of people with diabetes have trouble managing their disease, the hospital advocates easy to access resources to assist with managing diabetes through exercise, diet control, medications and regular blood glucose level testing.

When a patient is referred to either the child metabolic clinic or adult outpatient clinic, the diagnosis has already been made on whether it is Type 1 or Type 2.  The steps begin with education and knowledge about their diabetes and how to manage it on a daily basis. Important is the promotion of general diabetes education, meal planning/healthy eating and how to obtain daily evaluation of blood glucose levels.  With that comes an understanding about diabetes medication and administering the insulin dosage required to supplement and as important, how to recognize signs of hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).

Windsor Regional Hospital’s Nutrition and Endocrinology Clinic sees over 2,500 patients annually as it is the regional hub for diabetic management for Windsor and Essex County. The hospital’s Paediatric Metabolic Clinic sees over 9,000 visits annually.  Diabetes among youth and adolescents has grown significantly due to several issues however, the hospital ‘s mission is to focus on treating, mentoring and educating families about their children’s diabetes. The advantage of two clinics under the same building permits the sharing of information. The transition from adolescent to adulthood diabetes can be challenging however, the ability to access electronic health records in the same system is helpful.

Windsor Regional Hospital has a team approach using Certified Diabetic Educators along with Endocrinologists, Physicians, Registered Dietitians and Social Workers to work with patients.

With the advent of the University of Windsor’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and the first Charter Class graduating within the last month, students transitioning as physicians receive first hand experience related to the management of chronic diseases like diabetes.” stated Dr. Raphael Cheung, Endocrinologist at Windsor Regional Hospital.  “We provide full service care for patients with diabetes using our team approach.”

The sum of it is controlling one’s blood glucose (blood sugar) which changes constantly and influenced by several factors such as choice of food and how much is eaten, the timing of medication and insulin intake and overall weight.  It is kind of a balancing act requiring tight control of one’s sugar level to best achieve consistent daily results.

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