Diabetes management in Kansas City
Diabetes can affect more than just your physical health. It can impact your lifestyle, emotions, relationships and finances.
But you're not alone when it comes to managing diabetes. At HCA Midwest Health, we offer comprehensive care and the latest treatments for people at risk for or who have diabetes. With the right care team, you can take charge of your diabetes and lead a full and active life.
If you need help managing your diabetes, we can help. For patients with Type 1 diabetes, one of our endocrinologists can help you stay on top of your treatments to maintain your long-term health . For patients with Type 2 diabetes, you can receive comprehensive disease management from a primary care provider.
What is diabetes?
The pancreas is a large gland that makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin is released at certain times to regulate your blood sugar.
Diabetes occurs when there's not enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. There are two main types:
- Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin. It can develop at any age but occurs most often in children and teens. People with Type 1 diabetes can live everyday life with insulin therapy.
- Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn't use insulin properly. It's the most common form of diabetes and occurs mainly in adults. Many can be treated by following a healthy diet and exercising.
Our specialized diabetes care
We have a collaborative team of specialists that adjusts your care to meet your needs and lifestyle, including:
- More than 180 primary care providers throughout the Kansas City area, many with online scheduling
- Bariatric specialists offering the latest weight loss surgery and procedure options, medical weight loss, education, nutrition counseling, meal planning, exercise planning and support programs
- Cardiologists with over 20 years of research who specialize in treating patients with diabetes
- Nutritionists and diabetes educators
- An American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program
- Access to advanced technology and the latest treatments, including continuous glucose monitors
- Board-certified endocrinologists
Menorah Medical Center's diabetes self-management education program is recognized for its knowledgeable health professionals who provide advanced information about diabetes management.
This award shows that Menorah Medical Center ensures patients with Type 2 diabetes receive high-quality care when hospitalized with heart disease or a stroke.
If you've been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you should see your primary care physician several times a year to help manage the disease. These checkups will include nutrition, physical activity, management of diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors (such as weight) and related complications. They will also take your blood pressure and look at your feet.
Additionally, you should get the following exams every year:
- A thorough foot exam
- Dilated eye exam
- Fasting lipids
- Kidney test (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio)
You should also have an A1C test, which tests your average blood sugar level if your diabetes isn't under control, and every six months if you are stable.
Who should get tested for diabetes?
Anyone can develop diabetes. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds. But there are some common risk factors for diabetes, including:
- Family history of diabetes
- Lack of physical activity
- Being overweight
- Being over 45 years old
- Being African American, Native American, Latino, Asian, Indian or Pacific Islander
- History of gestational diabetes
Screening for Type 2 diabetes is recommended at 45 years old. However, if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, you should be tested regardless of age.
The best way to find out if you have diabetes is to visit your family physician for a simple blood test. The earlier you know about having the disease, the better—so if you have concerns, speak with a doctor today.
Diabetes and heart disease
If you have diabetes, especially if you have had it for a while, you should be screened for heart disease. With diabetes, your risk for heart disease is about four times higher. About 70 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease.
Because of newer treatments, it is now possible to help people enhance their quality of life. Medications can lower glucose and can reduce your chances of a heart attack, stroke or death.
Managing your diabetes is vital for your heart and vascular health. With some effort and the help of the right care team, you can prevent cardiovascular complications.
You can lower your risk of heart disease by:
- Lowering your glucose
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Controlling your cholesterol
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet
Screening for coronary artery disease
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries). They are also more likely to have atypical symptoms of coronary artery disease or no symptoms at all.
See your primary care physician for an annual assessment of your coronary heart disease risks, including:
- Blood pressure
- Fasting lipid profile
- Smoking history
- Weight assessment
Your doctor may also consider referring you for a coronary calcium scan or a stress test to help diagnose and evaluate your heart’s condition.
Heart disease treatment for diabetics
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with Type 2 diabetes. That’s why it's important to be screened and treated by a cardiologist who has knowledge and experience with both diseases.
New lifesaving drugs
In addition to traditional medicines that control heart disease risk factors, specific diabetes therapies can also reduce the risks of heart disease. New classes of drugs, GLP-1 antagonists and SGLT2 inhibitors, have been shown to lower glucose, reduce heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) and admissions to the hospital for heart failure, and prevent life loss.
Hypertension is a common issue in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Early and effective treatment for blood pressure is essential to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Your primary care physician can usually treat high blood pressure. However, if you haven’t been having much success, you may need specialized expertise. The hypertension program at the HCA Midwest Heart and Vascular Institute at Research Medical Center provides comprehensive care for people with complex or resistant hypertension.
For more information, call (816) 276-4800.
Pediatric Type 1 diabetes care
Our pediatric endocrinologist sees children at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. We work with the newest and latest technology, providing advanced tools to help young patients with diabetes and their parents manage their condition.
We want to help your child learn how to manage their diabetes best while staying active and busy. Our job is to give them the confidence and training to feel they are experts in managing their diabetes and live a life similar to their peers who don’t have it.
Comprehensive diabetes education
HCA Midwest Health offers a diabetes education program at Menorah Medical Center. The program provides comprehensive education, consisting of four classes over three months.
Our team will teach each patient the following skills:
- Checking and recording blood glucose levels
- Counting carbohydrates
- Diabetes fundamentals
- Making proper food choices for diabetes care
- Meal and exercise planning
- Medication management
- Prevention of complications
- Psychosocial strategies
- Taking care of your diabetes
Call Menorah Medical Center at (913) 498-6321 to learn more about the program.
Education for at-risk patients
The Diabetes Center at Menorah Medical Center offers instruction by a certified diabetes educator (RN) or a registered dietitian. The class targets those who are at risk for diabetes. Proper meal planning, label reading and exercise and physical activity guidelines to prevent diabetes are a few of the many topics covered in the course.
The class fee is $60. For information and details on how to join the class, please call (913) 498-6321.