Southwest General Hospital’s Diabetes Service Line was the first in Texas to receive a Certificate of Distinction for Inpatient Diabetes Care from the Joint Commission. This certification means that Southwest General Hospital provides patients with diabetes an opportunity to experience better outcomes because of glycemic management during their hospitalization.
There may come a time when you have to be admitted to the hospital due to diabetes or a complication of the disease. Our diabetes care team will work with your doctor to provide high-quality healthcare and to help achieve successful treatment. We also have specialized tools to maintain tight blood sugar control during hospitalization such as the Glucommander.
Our diabetes care center also offers a comprehensive outpatient program designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to live a better life with diabetes. Topics covered in the outpatient program include medication management, diet and nutrition, blood glucose monitoring, exercise and stress management.
Insulin Pump Therapy
Many people need insulin pump therapy to control their diabetes. Scientific studies have concluded that this therapy can prevent diabetes complications, allowing patients to enjoy variety in meals, energy for exercise, and enhanced daily life. The insulin pump therapy programs we offer provide support, information and the training you need for safe and successful insulin pump use.
Diabetes & Your Vision
Diabetes is a disease that affects the entire body, including the eyes. Depending upon the stage of your diabetes, your physician may recommend that you be evaluated for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can develop in one or two ways:
- Weak, damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the retina, causing swelling and a loss of vision.
- The eye attempts to self-correct a developing state of anoxia (lack of oxygen) within the eye by creating new, abnormal blood vessels, which burst and bleed into the posterior segment of the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy (in both of these forms) is the leading cause of blindness in adults. However, this condition can be managed with laser treatments, injections and surgical modalities. To learn more, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
Because there are oftentimes no symptoms, pain, or outward signs associated with diabetic retinopathy, this condition is especially dangerous. If you notice any gradual blurring or vision loss, then it’s important that you seek help.
Getting an Eye Exam
It is generally recommended that patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have an ophthalmologic exam within five years of diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should have an ophthalmologic exam upon diagnosis.
When you visit with an ophthalmologist, he or she may perform one or more of the following eye exams:
- A slit lamp exam lets the ophthalmologist examine the eye with magnification.
- A tonometry test measures the pressure of the eye to rule out glaucoma.
- A dilated exam allows the ophthalmologist to more carefully examine the inner structures of the eye. Typically, the ophthalmologist will use drops to dilate the pupil, and the eye is further examined with the slit lamp and with certain types of ophthalmoscopes. With the dilated exam, cataract can be diagnosed. But most importantly, the presence and extent of diabetic eye disease is determined. This is a vitally important exam, as a careful and complete exam of the retina cannot be performed without dilation.
- An ultrasound creates an image of the eye using sound waves. This exam may be recommended if there is bleeding in the back of the eye, preventing direct visualization of the retina with the ophthalmoscopes.
- An ocular coherence tomography (OCT) uses light waves to create a three-dimensional image of the eye. An OCT is used to measure the amount of swelling of the retina, which can occur from leaking blood vessels.
Learn more about the ophthalmology services available at Southwest General Hospital.
Diabetes & Pregnancy: Managing Gestational Diabetes
Have you been diagnosed with gestational diabetes? If so, you probably have questions. What can I eat? Is my baby’s health affected? The Certified Diabetes Educators at Southwest General Hospital are here to provide you with answers through free gestational diabetes management classes in the BirthPlace. Find out more about class dates and how to sign up.