Diabetes occurs when the body cannot move glucose from the bloodstream into the blood cells and cannot use it for energy. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that is the “key” that moves the glucose into the blood cells. When there is not enough insulin or when our bodies do not make insulin, it causes high blood glucose which can lead to health risks and complications.
There are different types of diabetes; the three most common types of diabetes are Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes the cells in the pancreas that make the insulin as invaders and destroys the cells that make insulin. Therefore, the body is unable to make insulin or makes very little insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body does not use insulin properly, which is also called insulin resistance.
Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women due to changes in how the body uses hormones. Blood glucose typically returns to normal after a mother delivers her baby but having gestational diabetes does put both the mother and baby at greater risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes later in life.
Services we offer:
- Medication Management
- Management of Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes
- Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGMs) Training
- Insulin Pump Training and Management
- Diabetes and Nutrition Education
Click each topic below to learn more
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can help you manage your blood sugar levels. A small sensor attaches to the skin, and a small wire is placed under your skin that monitors your blood sugar levels 24 hours a day. The sensor sends your blood sugar readings to a receiver or your cell phone. Sensors are worn for 10-14 days before being replaced with another sensor. Many times, family members can remotely monitor their loved ones’ sugar levels for added security.
The Freestyle Libre Sensor is worn for 14 days. Please click on the link below to learn more about how to place your sensor, how to download Libre phone apps or how to share your blood glucose data with your Provider.
The Dexcom sensor is worn for 10 days. Please click on the link below to learn more about how to place your Dexcom sensor, how to download Dexcom phone apps and how to share your glucose data with your Provider using the Dexocm Clarity phone app.
Insulin Pumps are small devices that help you manage your diabetes through insulin delivery. Insulin pumps hold a set amount of insulin; the pump delivers the insulin through settings by your Healthcare Provider. The three most common types of insulin pumps are Tandem, Omnipod and Medtronic.
Please click on the link below to learn more about how to place your tandem pump, change your infusion site or how to give a bolus via your Tandem insulin pump. You can also call Tandem’s 24/7 customer support at (877) 801-6901.
Please click on the link below to learn more about how to change your Omnipod, fill your Omnipod with insulin or how to give a bolus via your Omnipod. You can also call Omnipod’s 24/7 customer support at (800) 591-3455.
Please click on the link below to learn more about how to change your Medtronic pump, fill your reservoir with insulin or how to give a bolus. You can also call Medtronic’s 24/7 customer support at (818) 576-5400.
Pump Malfunction (for existing pump patients only)
If you think your pump has malfunctioned, follow these steps:
- Check your infusion site. You may need to change your site, including new tubing, new reservoir or place a new pod even if it is not time to change your site. Sometimes, the site you had previously placed gets kinked under the skin and the insulin cannot pass through the cannula causing high blood sugars.
- Call the manufacturer of your pump (Tandem, Omnipod or Medtronic).
- Call your healthcare provider at 706.278.1622
- You may need to give an injection according to the sliding scale your Provider has given you.
Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia)
Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Glucose is defined as a blood sugar <70. Some signs and symptoms of having low blood sugar include feeling shaky, confused, sweating, headaches, feeling nervous or anxious, blurred vision, tingling or numbness in lips, tongue or cheeks, nausea, hunger, light-headedness or dizziness.
If your blood sugar is <70, you need to take action or you could pass out or have other serious complications. Treating low sugars:
- Check your sugar. Do not treat yourself based on how you feel. Do this with a fingerstick, not your CGM.
- Follow the 15-15 Rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates and then check your blood sugar after 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is still <70, consume another 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- Examples of 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 oz juice or regular soda (not diet)
- One tablespoon syrup or honey
- Glucose gel or glucose tablets
- Hard candies or jelly beans (read the label for how many to eat)
3. Recheck your blood sugar. Repeat step 2 if needed.
4. If you cannot bring your blood sugar levels up after three treatments, call 911.
High Blood Sugars (Hyperglycemia)
Hyperglycemia or High Blood Glucose is defined as blood sugar >200. Some signs and symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, hunger, feeling sleepy and blurred vision. If your blood sugars are high, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid beverages with sugar or caffeine.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes, you may also need to check your urine for ketones. Ketone strips can be purchased at a local pharmacy.
Plan ahead for sick days. When you are sick, stay hydrated and continue to take your medications. Discuss which cold and flu medications you should take with your Provider as cold and flu medications can contain glucose and raise your blood sugar.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that can be life-threatening and may need emergency medical attention. DKA occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin to bring down blood sugars. When the body does not have enough insulin, it starts to break down fat for fuel. This causes acid, called ketones, to build up in the bloodstream called ketones which then leads to DKA.
Signs and symptoms of DKA include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, confusion, increased thirst and urination. Seek emergency care immediately if 1) you have ketones in your urine 2) your blood sugar is >300 and is not coming down or 3) you are experiencing signs or symptoms of DKA
Diabetes and Nutrition Classes
Hamilton Diabetes and Endocrinology Center offers several diabetes and nutrition classes to help you manage your diabetes through lifestyle changes. We will also file your insurance for the class. Classes are offered weekly at various times, so call us today to learn more or to schedule your class! You can call us at 706-278-1622.
Classes we offer:
- Nutrition and Meal Planning
- Comprehensive Diabetes
- Comprehensive Basics
- Gestational Diabetes
- Carbohydrate Counting
*Classes are also offered in Spanish. A referral is needed for education classes but not for appointments with the Provider.
Traveling with Diabetes
Traveling with diabetes may seem overwhelming, but planning can help you make the most of your trip. Here are some tips for traveling with diabetes:
- Pack enough medications (oral and insulin) for the travel plus additional, just in case.
- You do not need to refrigerate insulin during travels but do not leave insulin in very hot or very cold temperatures. You can purchase a cool travel pack to keep your insulin cool if needed. Pack insulin in a safe place; do not place insulin in checked baggage (if flying) or in the car’s trunk, where it may be exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Bring extra supplies to check your blood sugar, and bring additional supplies for your insulin pump, if applicable.
- Pack snacks such as peanut butter crackers or protein bars. Pack fruit gummies, hard candies, or glucose tabs in case of low blood sugar.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about adjusting your medications if you are changing time zones.
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Check your feet daily for blisters, reddened areas, burns or scrapes, and tears.
- If you are on an insulin pump or CGM, please click the following links for specific information for your pump and/or CGM:
Surgery and Diabetes
If you have an upcoming surgery, please contact your Provider for assistance on which medication you may need to hold or reduce prior and/or after surgery.