Why Receive Diabetes Education?

Learning to manage diabetes helps ensure a healthy, productive life and reduces the development of potential complications.  Unmanaged diabetes is associated with a number of complications such as heart and kidney disease, eye and foot problems, and nerve and vascular disorders.  Studies show that the risk of developing these health problems can be reduced by keeping your blood sugar levels within a recommended range.  You can do this by working closely with your diabetes care team and LEARNING as much as you can about diabetes and your body.

Diabetes Self Management Training (DSMT) includes obtaining knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • The diabetes disease process
  • How to select appropriate foods and meal planning
  • Exercise benefits and precautions
  • Self-monitoring of blood glucose
  • Recognizing and treating low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Proper insulin usage and oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Acute and chronic complications
  • Goal setting, problem solving, and stress management   

What Our Education Program Looks Like:

*Please note that a physician’s referral is needed for reimbursement purposes for both the initial assessment and the group education classes.  Each insurance plan’s coverage is different, so we encourage you to call yours to check how much DSMT is allowed.

Individual Assessment

An individual assessment is encouraged for all individuals who are newly diagnosed with diabetes or who have poorly controlled diabetes.  The assessment typically lasts 90 minutes and is conducted by a diabetes educator who will devise a personalized diabetes care plan.  Topics that will be reviewed include how to use a blood glucose meter, how to interpret current lab values, and an overview of current medications.  In addition, usual dietary intake will be discussed and a meal plan specifically designed to help achieve optimal blood glucose control will be suggested.

Group Classes (An individual assessment must first be completed prior to attending the group classes)

Group classes are typically offered during the second and fourth week of each month.  Both day and evening class times are available. 

Diabetes Disease Process

Learn about diabetes and why persons with diabetes can experience variations in their blood glucose levels outside of their individual target goals. The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is explored, as well as stress management and the importance of goal setting.

Nutrition Management for Diabetics

Learn what foods are best for persons with diabetes to consume in order to obtain both optimal blood glucose control and to improve their overall nutritional health.  Some of the topics which will be discussed are carbohydrate counting, meal planning, portion control, and eating out at restaurants.

Medications, and Potential Complications

Insulin, noninsulin injectables, and oral hypoglycemic agents are reviewed.  The prevention of both acute and chronic complications is discussed as well as treatment plans for acute complications such as low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) and sick days.  A nurse from the Center for Wound Healing will demonstrate a foot exam and individually check each participant's feet.

Monitoring and Exercise

Learn the importance of self-monitoring your blood glucose levels.  Proper technique and storage of monitoring supplies are explained.  In addition, the importance of incorporating exercise into your daily routine to help obtain good blood glucose control and to optimize your overall health is discussed. The last half of this class will allow for time with an exercise specialist who will help devise an exercise program specific to each individual's needs.

Suggested education for those newly diagnosed with diabetes:

The complete education program for all those with newly diagnosed diabetes includes attending the initial assessment and all four group classes. Attendance at each class is recommended to ensure all pertinent material is covered.

Diabetes Monthly Support Group

Monthly support group provides an opportunity for individuals with diabetes to continue learning and networking with others in the community.  The support group meetings are held both in the daytime and evening.  All meetings are free and open to the public.  No registration is required, but an RSVP is appreciated.   

Please contact the Diabetes Outpatient Center at (317) 468-4379 for more information or questions.

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