The Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center
The statistics associated with diabetes are not encouraging. Currently, there are some 24 million Americans who have been diagnosed with the disease. It is estimated that there are another 5.7 million Americans who have it but are unaware of it. And yet another 55 million Americans are what is known as “pre-diabetic,” meaning their blood sugar level is slightly above normal.
What are the causes of this near epidemic?
Heredity is at the top of the list. People who have a family history of Diabetes are 25% more likely to contract the disease. In particular, certain groups such as African Americans and Hispanic Americans have been shown to have a greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than whites.
Diet is another factor. Diets that have excessive amounts of carbohydrates and fats can be harmful to the body and can contribute to higher blood sugar levels, which in turn can lead to diabetes. Similarly, obesity can be a major contributing cause of the disease. With the extra weight comes extra fat, and that can cause insulin in the body to fail to function properly. Other factors include age, smoking, emotional stress and a sedentary lifestyle.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that with proper education, guidance and self-determination, Diabetes can be managed effectively.
The Diabetes Education Center at Lawrence General Hospital is staffed with a professionally trained medical team including a registered nurse and a registered dietitian, who are certified Diabetes Educators. They collaborate with your physician to help you control your diabetes through healthy eating, exercise plans designed to fit your personal lifestyle and needs as well as assistance with management of your medications and blood sugar levels. A multi-disciplinary advisory committee oversees the program and ensures you are receiving the highest quality education.
The Diabetes Education Center has been successfully treating adolescents and adults with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes since 1996. Training in numerous topics is offered to help you understand and better manage your particular type of Diabetes including: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. We have a comprehensive education program that is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for quality patient education and offer specialized care close to home. Education sessions are reimbursed through most insurance plans.
The goals of our Diabetes Education Center include helping patients learn to understand their condition and develop practical ways to modify their lifestyle in order to improve their overall health and wellness. Team members include a certified diabetes nurse educator and a certified dietitian diabetes educator. We also offer a monthly support group. This open forum is led by a diabetes educator and covers a wide range of issues. It’s a great opportunity for patients to share experiences and learn from one another.
Our program welcomes those with the following concerns:
• Newly diagnosed with diabetes
• Change in condition or treatment regimen
• Inadequate blood sugar control
• Diabetes complications
We are proud to report that former patients continue to manage their blood sugar levels, exercise regularly and maintain weight loss long after leaving us.
Please click here for the Diabetes Support Group schedule.
For more information on diabetes, contact Program Director Sharon Blackwell, MSN, RM-BC, at 978-683-4000 ext. 2428 or Sharon.M.Blackwell@Lawrencegeneral.org. For more information on other nutrition services and programs, please click here.