The Diabetes Education Program at Mercy is a multidisciplinary team of certified diabetes educators that work with patients and their physicians to control diabetes and prevent or reduce complications.
The Diabetes Education Program provides education on the following topics:
- Understanding the basics of diabetes
- Self-monitoring of blood glucose
- Insulin pump therapy
- Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)
- Medication management - insulin and oral agents
- Behavior modification
- Appropriate exercise
- Proper nutrition
- Meal planning
- Preventing diabetes complications
- Motivating yourself to live well
- Healthy habits for your feet, skin and eyes
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- Community resources
Mercy Diabetes Education Program is available in the following locations:
Mercy Medical Plaza
Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Center
Mercy Diabetes Educators
A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is a qualified health care professional that provides diabetes self-management education (DSME) and ongoing support to patients. Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to change their behaviors and successfully self-manage their disease and improve their quality of life.
As diabetes educators, we believe diabetes education is critically important for a patient's overall diabetes care. Diabetes education is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans. A primary care provider or endocrinologist can refer patients to a diabetes educator.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. It is tested for during weeks 24-28 of pregnancy with an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test ordered by your Obstetrician. Pregnancy hormones increase your blood sugar levels to meet baby’s growth needs. If your body is unable to meet the insulin needs to handle the extra sugar, you will need assistance. Up to 15% of pregnant women have gestational diabetes.
The Mercy Diabetes Education Program can help you with dietary changes, monitoring blood sugars and medications, if needed. We offer individual or group sessions with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
Insulin Pump Therapy
Insulin pump therapy is another option (besides injections) to manage your diabetes and deliver insulin. It offers greater flexibility and allows you to fine tune your blood sugar control. If you are motivated and taking multiple daily insulin injections, checking blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, and in good communication with your healthcare team, you may want to consider insulin pump therapy. Like a pancreas, an insulin pump continuously releases small amounts of rapid acting insulin to keep blood sugar levels steady between meals and during sleep.
To learn more, talk to your endocrinologist about insulin pump therapy to see if its right for you.
Continuous Glucose Monitor
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a tool that can be used to help you better understand your diabetes. When deciding whether to use a CGM, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons of its use. Understanding CGM, how it works, its limitations and its potential will help you decide if this option is right for you.