One in 10 Americans has diabetes. Twenty percent of those people don’t even know they have it. As part of Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to make sure you know the signs of this chronic health condition and meet our new Diabetes Educator, Jo Staydohar, RN.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a health issue where your body doesn’t turn food into energy correctly. It comes down to insulin. Insulin is a hormone in our bodies that converts food into energy. When your body doesn’t make any or enough insulin, your blood sugar rises. These heightened levels can impact your health drastically.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body can’t produce insulin.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t produce enough insulin.
There is also pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes happens when your body can’t create enough insulin or it can’t use it all and it impacts your blood sugar levels. Your levels will be higher than the healthy range but not high enough to put you in type 2 diabetes category.
How do you know if you have diabetes?
According to the CDC, these are the main symptoms of diabetes.
- Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
- Are very thirsty
- Lose weight without trying
- Are very hungry
- Have blurry vision
- Have numb or tingling hands or feet
- Feel very tired
- Have very dry skin
- Have sores that heal slowly
- Have more infections than usual
Diabetes Education: Meet Jo Staydohar
Jo Staydonar, LPN joined Fairview Range’s Diabetes Resource Center as a Diabetes Educator in 2022. The Diabetes Resource Center is an outpatient department of the hospital and is located in the Mesaba Clinic-Hibbing. The educators provide care and support for Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational Diabetes, Pre-diabetes, medications including insulin, blood glucose meters, continuous glucose monitoring, and insulin pumps. The team of Diabetes Educators includes Registered Dietitians, a Registered Nurse, and two Nurse Practitioners.
“Every person with diabetes is on their own journey to manage their blood sugars,” explains Staydonar. “As a Diabetes Educator, I partner with patients and their primary care provider to develop a person-centered approach to diabetes care.”
Before this role, she has been serving patients in healthcare since 2001. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Minnesota State University – Moorhead in 2018.
“I want my patients to feel important and valued, especially after our interactions.”
One thing that led her to this role was her own family’s history with diabetes.
“As a young child, I first became aware of diabetes as several of my family members experienced life with diabetes. Little did I know at that time, my future husband and additional family members would also have this disease.”
Using the AADE7 framework, Staydonar is able to help the people she loves and the people in our community living with diabetes and pre-diabetes live long, healthy lives. Part of this framework includes healthy eating, activity, taking medication, and healthy coping.
To learn more about AADE7 and diabetes, reach out to the Diabetes Resource Center at 218-362-6105. Referrals are welcome for new diabetes patients and those looking for additional care and support. To receive a referral, talk to your provider today.