Diabetes Education and Management

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affect the way the body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it's your body's main source of fuel. Normally, glucose is able to enter your cells because of the action of insulin - a hormone secreted by your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. In diabetes this process doesn't function properly. Instead of being transported to your cells, glucose accumulates in your bloodstream. This usually happens because your body doesn't produce insulin, doesn’t make enough insulin, or because the cells don't respond to insulin properly.

Type 1 Diabetes: In Type 1 diabetes, formally know as juvenile onset, the body does not produce insulin. It affects between five percent and 10 percent of people with diabetes. Type 1 requires daily injections of insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes: 90-95 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which occurs when the body is resistant to the effects of insulin or when pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more Americans than ever have diabetes. The disease affects an estimated 20.8 million adults and children, yet close to a third of them may not know they have it. That's because diabetes can develop gradually over the years, often without symptoms. However, both types are serious. The accumulation of glucose in your blood can damage every major organ in your body. It's the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

No one has found a cure yet for diabetes, but by eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and, if needed, using medications that control blood sugar levels, you can live a normal and active lifestyle. Learn all you can about diabetes so you can manage it and keep it under control.

  • Blood Glucose Values

    Fasting Plasma Glucose Test:

    Normal: 70 - 99 mg/dl
    Prediabetes: 100 -125 mg/dl
    Diabetes: ≥ 126 mg/dl

    Oral Glucose Tolerance Test:

    Normal: < 140 mg/dl
    Prediabetes: ≥ 140 - 200 mg/dl
    Diabetes: ≥ 200 mg/dl

    * Source: American Diabetes Association; 2007 Clinical Care Guidelines

  • The Benefits of Staying in Control

    Maintaining a near normal blood sugar level may help protect you from many of the serious problems that are related to diabetes.

    You'll feel better if you keep your blood sugar close to normal. When your blood sugar is higher or lower than normal, you will probably feel tired, sick and/or uncomfortable.

    Controlling your diabetes will keep it from controlling you. It will have less power to disrupt your life.

    1. American Diabetes Association. Clinical Practice Guidelines, Diabetes Care 2007 30: S3

    2. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Diabetes Mellitus Clinical Practice Guidelines . ENDOCRINE PRACTICE Vol 13 (Suppl 1) May/June 2007

  • Outpatient Nutrition Education Program: A Recipe For Success

    Education is the key to managing diabetes and preventing long term complications.

    People with diabetes have many tools available to them to help manage their disease. Those who choose not to get education and take steps towards managing their diabetes with their health care team are more likely to get long term complications of diabetes within the first year of being diagnosed.

    People with diabetes are at twice the risk factor for a heart attack. That’s just one possible complication of diabetes. Other complications of diabetes include but are not limited to: heart disease, stroke, and damage to the nerves, kidneys and eyes. Nutrition and exercise play a very important role in blood glucose (sugar) control. Small steps in making changes in lifestyle play a huge role in managing diabetes. Counseling and education is individualized for each person. We are making lifestyle changes that will impact you for the rest of your life.

  • For More Information

    For more information about outpatient nutritional education/counseling, please call an educator or call 857-5252 to set up an appointment for nutrition counseling.