November is Diabetes Awareness Month 

Effingham, Ill. – An estimated 37 million people are living with diabetes in the United States – the highest it has ever been, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most cases are type 2 diabetes, which means your body doesn’t use insulin properly. Type 2 is largely preventable through regular physical activity and a healthy and balanced diet says Adrienne Jarrell, RD, MS, registered dietitian and educator with HSHS Medical Group Diabetes and Endocrinology in Effingham.

“Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be very subtle and develop slowly over time,” said Jarrell. “Knowing the signs can help people know what to watch for in how they look and feel, even if they are small changes.”

Talk with your doctor if any of these symptoms persist:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling hungry, even when eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss
  • Tingling, pain or numbness in hands and feet

Diabetes can complicate high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease, vision impairment and other health-related complications, such as heart attack and stroke.

A1C is a type of test that can identify prediabetes, which means blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. The CDC says 96 million Americans –  more than one in three – have prediabetes. If it’s determined you have prediabetes, it does not mean you’ll develop type 2, especially if you make changes in your lifestyle regarding exercise and nutrition.

Jarrell shared, “It doesn’t take large changes to make a difference. Even small steps like eating less sugar, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking around the block regularly can help delay or prevent developing type 2 diabetes,” she said. “Work with a health care professional to develop a plan that works for you to help you avoid a lifetime of medications or insulin monitoring.”

A physician can evaluate your risk level and complete bloodwork to diagnose diabetes. A consultation with a clinical dietitian or diabetes educator may also help identify ways to reduce your risk factors. You can also take a one-minute Diabetes Risk Test through the American Diabetes Association at:

HSHS Medical Group Diabetes and Endocrinology Services

HSHS Medical Group Diabetes and Endocrinology – Effingham delivers world-class care close to home. The highly-specialized team of local experts – endocrinologist Dr. Radhika Annam, and registered dietitians and diabetes educators Tracy Dennis and Adrienne Jarrell – work together to provide patients with the tools they need to manage their diabetes and live their best life.

At HSHS Medical Group Diabetes and Endocrinology, patient’s needs are evaluated with a plan designed uniquely tailored to meet them. Comprehensive services include:

  • Intensive diabetes care and management
  • Physician consultation
  • Medication management
  • Insulin pump therapy
  • Self-care and self-management
  • Individual education

For more information about HSHS Medical Group Diabetes and Endocrinology, including their monthly support group and monthly comprehensive diabetes education class, both free of charge, call 217-787-8870 or register online at


About HSHS Medical Group
HSHS Medical Group is the physician organization of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). Launched in 2009, HSHS Medical Group is a critical component of the HSHS Care Integration strategy, which focuses on bringing physicians, technology and patients together to improve the overall health of our communities. Today, HSHS Medical Group is comprised of over 1,000 colleagues in locations throughout central and southern Illinois. HSHS Medical Group is powered by the Franciscan history of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, and our faith-based identity led us to the single most important tenet of the HSHS Medical Group philosophy — patient-first care. For more information about HSHS Medical Group, visit

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit