Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism - Services

St. Joseph’s Hospital is the primary regional site for diabetes and endocrine disease management, which is provided by a multi-disciplinary team. The diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism clinics provide patients with a range of specialized care for:

Pregnancy and Endocrine Disorders

Gestational diabetes is also called gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM. It is a form of diabetes that may develop during pregnancy, usually in the second or third trimester. Diabetes can cause your blood sugar levels to be too high. This can cause damage to the mother and her unborn baby. Blood sugar levels go back to normal for most women after they give birth.

GDM can be treated and controlled most of the time. The goal is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal, as safely as possible. At St. Joseph’s Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, women with gestational diabetes are followed closely throughout the pregnancy and taught how to manage their condition.

Post pregnancy, families are encouraged to take part in a new program now available called Families Preventing Diabetes. The program is among the first of its kind in Canada aimed at reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes for women who have experienced gestational diabetes. The program offers awareness and education for women post pregnancy. All those treated at St. Joseph’s for gestational diabetes are invited to return after delivering their infants to learn strategies that can reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 60 per cent.

About five per cent of pregnant women develop diabetes during pregnancy and are subsequently seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within five to 15 years. It’s important for women to understand the risks but also know that prevention is possible.

Participants in Families Preventing Diabetes learn lifestyle practices known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, such as:

  • Exclusive breast feeding for at least the first month after giving birth
  • If overweight, weight loss of five to seven per cent of pre-pregnancy weight
  • 150 minutes of physical activity a week
  • A diet with lots of vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, and low in refined sugars, higher in fibre, and low in saturated and trans fats

These strategies will also help women avoid gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies.

Endocrine Pregnancy Clinic

Pregnant women invited to attend this clinic include individuals with: type 1 and 2 diabetes, thyroid or lipid conditions and gestational diabetes.

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need about your diabetes and its effect on you and your baby during pregnancy. We strive to help you achieve good control of your diabetes throughout pregnancy.

The endocrine pregnancy clinic team includes:

  • an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist)
  • residents and clinical clerks
  • a registered dietitian (certified diabetes educator)
  • a registered nurse (certified diabetes educator)
  • a clinical receptionist assistant
  • a clinic receptionist
  • a pharmacist
  • a pharmacy technician

The clinic runs every Thursday morning from 8am-12pm.

Initial visits take approximately one hour and follow up visits about half an hour.

You will see a nurse and dietitian at your initial visit and as needed at your follow up visits. The endocrinologist and residents/clinical clerks will see you at each visit in clinic.

Please bring your blood glucose record, your meter, your meal plan and any questions you may have. You are welcome to bring a support person.

Clinical Investigations Unit

The Clinical Investigation Unit is an outpatient program that provides endocrine testing for patients with conditions such as pituitary tumors, thyroid disorders, adrenal tumors, and other endocrine disorders. The unit is staffed by a registered nurse and an endocrinologist. Most of the tests start early in the morning and can last from three to eight hours. Specific instructions are provided for each patient.

Once testing is complete, the patient returns home and test results are provided at a later date.

Another function of the CIU is to provide drug infusions for endocrine disorders. These infusions are ordered by the St. Joseph's endocrinology physicians and other specialists at the hospital.