Diabetes Education

Successfully control and manage your diabetes with our Diabetes Self-Management Program

When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s easy to feel like your life will be controlled by the disease. But take heart – your life is your own, and great resources are available close to home to help you successfully manage diabetes and live your life the way you want to.

You’ll find them easily accessible at the Diabetes Self-Management Program from St. Joseph’s in Breese.

Whether you’re newly diagnosed and just beginning your journey with diabetes, struggling day to day with uncontrolled blood sugar or simply want to learn about new or different management techniques, you’ll find the answers and support you need here. The Diabetes Education team works together to help you understand your illness and manage it through medication, diet and exercise.

Certified Diabetes Educator Connie Gebke, Certified Diabetes Educator Barb Voss and Licensed Dietitian Kayla Schroeder will help you:
  • Understand your diabetes diagnosis
  • Learn how to make healthy food choices
  • Learn how to monitor your blood sugar to help control your diabetes
  • Understand potential complications from diabetes
  • Understand the different medications to treat diabetes
  • Learn ideas for incorporating exercise into your life
  • Learn problem solving, healthy coping, and how to reduce risks posed by diabetes
You can also find the Diabetes Education team's services throughout the community, including:
  • School visits to educate teachers and staff on keeping the child with diabetes safe at school
  • Traveling Kidney Mobile to provide free kidney and diabetes screenings in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois
  • Diabetes Support Group meetings every other month (odd numbered months)
  • Diabetes screenings at the St. Joseph's Hospital Health Fairs in April and October
  • Diabetes screenings for the Latino population with assistance of interpreters
  • Nutrition education for children at schools
  • Community benefit programs like Kid Fit to help kids get active

Are there different types of diabetes?

There are three major types of diabetes:
  • Type 1, when the body’s pancreas fails to produce insulin;
  • Type 2, when the body does not make enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin that is made
  • Gestational, when a woman develops elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

What are the risk factors for diabetes?

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being over 45 years old
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Inactivity

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include:
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive hunger or thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss    •    Irritability
  • Vision changes
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Nausea
Some people show no symptoms and must be diagnosed through blood work performed in a lab. If you have one or more symptoms, see your physician as soon as possible.

Does the Diabetes Self-Management Program have any special certifications or recognition?

The program has been granted recognition by the American Diabetes Association, which means it:
  • Meets national standards as developed and tested under the National Diabetes Advisory Board
  • Has knowledgeable health professionals who can provide comprehensive information about diabetes management

Is the Diabetes Self-Management Program covered by Medicare or other insurance?

Because the program has been granted recognition by the American Diabetes Association, Medicare now covers the cost of diabetes education and dietitian consults for diabetics. Consult your insurance company to find out if it is covered under other insurance policies.

When does the Diabetes Support Group meet?

St. Joseph’s in Breese sponsors a Diabetes Support Group at 6 p.m. the first Monday of alternating months. If the first Monday is a holiday, the meeting is moved to the second Monday of the month. Meetings generally feature a presentation by a medical professional and time for questions. Topics and speakers are announced in the local media. You can also request to be included on the mailing list.

Is nutritional counseling available to help manage my diabetes?

A licensed dietitian is available to help with special diets and weight management. Call (618) 526-5336 for details.

What if I'm looking for more structured diabetes management?

If you’re looking for more structured help managing your diabetes, the hospital HealthPlex trained staff to assist you in reaching your exercise goals and maintain an active lifestyle. Call the HealthPlex at 526-5628 for more details.