Why should I participate in diabetes education?
Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management, making healthy food choices, staying physically active, monitoring your blood sugar and taking medications as prescribed. It is also important to talk regularly with your diabetes care team to problem solve, reduce risks for complications and cope with lifestyle changes.
Successful self-management will help you feel better and can reduce your chance of developing complications including heart disease, dental disease, eye disorders, kidney disease, nerve damage and lower leg amputation.
Diabetes management can feel overwhelming at times as you manage food, physical activity, blood sugar monitoring and medications at the same time. It is not uncommon to experience fear, anger, or stress. Our team of Registered Dietitians and Diabetes Educators can partner with you and help you navigate barriers along the way.
The program is designed to help you learn how to take care of yourself, guide you through your treatment and help you with any fears, issues and problems you encounter along the way.
What happens during diabetes education?
During initial visits, your diabetes educator will spend time with you developing a plan that helps you overcome the barriers you face in managing your diabetes, develop problem-solving and coping skills and adopt healthy behaviors.
Some examples of the many activities you may work on together are:
- Helping you understand exactly what diabetes is and how it affects your body
- Explaining how diabetes medications work
- Figuring out what types of food are best for you and how to plan meals that fit your life and budget
- Teaching you how to use a glucometer to check your blood sugar and how to understand the results
- Introducing you to apps, on-line resources and other tools to support your diabetes management
- Offering tips to help you cope with stress and solve problems as they arise
- Explaining the value of your care team in managing your health
Meeting with a diabetes educator is a great first step. Effective diabetes education is a process and takes time. It’s important to attend all of your diabetes education appointments. If you need to miss an appointment, be sure to reschedule. Follow up can be individualized, however we believe our support best serves you if we can connect a minimum of twice a year. Initially, it is often helpful to follow-up monthly and in some instances more frequently. Lifestyle Medicine helps you put together all the pieces as you begin this new journey. As you want to become more active our team of Physical Therapists & Exercise Specialists will ensure you get started on the right foot and avoid injury.
What we offer:
- Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE)
- Registered Dietitians (RD)
- Diabetes education workshops
- Gestational diabetes education
- Take home resources and materials
- Personalized meal planning
- Individual appointments with regular follow-ups
- Fitness Center alignment
- Recommendations to community resources
- Access to consultations with exercise specialists and physical therapists
- Understand how your medications work and how to
manage them safely
Who we see:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
Valley Medical Center provides Diabetes and Nutrition services at:Valley Medical Center, Highlands Primary Care Clinic, and the Lifestyle Medicine Centers in Covington and Maple Valley.
Connect with a Diabetes Educator:
American Association of Diabetes Educators, (Oct 30, 2015) What is a Diabetes Educator & 4 Key Times to see a Diabetes Educator