Getting on Track
- Enhance the management of your diabetes by making healthy choices every day
- Improve the effectiveness of diabetes medications with increased activity and proper diet
- Enjoy the convenience of expert diabetes management, close to home
Why is diabetes education important?
Although your doctor prescribes diabetes medications and monitors blood glucose control with lab work, your success with managing diabetes relies heavily on the choices you make daily.
Education can help you effectively manage your diabetes with its many challenges.
Certified Diabetes Educators, Erin Simms, RD, Don Miller, RN and Line Goulet, RN (pictured above) work with you and your physician to create an individualized plan to successfully manage your diabetes and reduce risks for complications.
Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME)
Consisting of four two-hour classes, this program covers:
- The causes of diabetes
- Blood glucose monitoring goals
- Healthy eating and exercise management
- Understanding medications
- Effective coping techniques
- Preventing diabetes-related complications
Telephone support is provided at three, six and 12 months after completion of the program.
Individual appointments are available when new needs arise, such as:
- Changing blood glucose control
- Adding or considering the addition of insulin
- Frequent episodes of low blood sugar
We teach insulin self-adjustment when recommended by your physician.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125 mg/dl. Studies have shown that individuals with pre-diabetes have an increased risk for heart disease and developing Type 2 diabetes.
Healthy eating and exercise can prevent or significantly delay Type 2 diabetes and decrease risk for heart disease. The pre-diabetes class is designed to help individuals develop the lifestyle changes necessary to address these risks. We provide two, two-hour classes one month apart plus follow-up support by phone.
Diabetes Health Group
To address the ongoing aspects of living with diabetes, we offer diabetes education and support sessions every other month. The meetings include time to share tips and discuss challenges in managing diabetes plus current or new information about advancements in diabetes management. Programs on specific topics are also offered.
Session information is available in our Classes and Events section or by calling 360.678.7656, ext. 2650 or 360.321.7656, ext. 2650.
Insulin Pump Therapy
If you are using insulin injections with each meal, insulin pumps are another method for insulin delivery. Pumps infuse rapid-acting insulin through an infusion site that you change every three days. We provide training and follow-up for three of the most popular pumps — Animas, Medtronic and Omnipod.
Continuous Glucose Sensors
Continuous glucose sensors help evaluate fluctuations in your blood glucose levels throughout the day and night by measuring interstitial glucose every few minutes and creating a graph of the measurements.
The device is worn for a three to five day session. The results are downloaded to a computer and reviewed with you and your physician. In some cases, insurance will cover regular use of the sensor to help improve control for individuals with type 1 diabetes.
In addition to diabetes classes, our Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator can provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), which involves individualized instruction on managing your diabetes with diet.
Carbohydrate counting is the main strategy used to educate clients on using food as a tool to manage diabetes. Medicare and most insurance will pay for MNT, minus your co-pay. A separate referral is needed. To learn more about MNT, call 360.321.7656, ext. 3202 or 360.678.7656 ext. 3202.
How Do I Begin?
Ask your physician for a referral for diabetes education. Most insurance companies will cover diabetes instruction by recognized programs when:
- You are newly diagnosed with Type 1,Type 2, or Gestational Diabetes
- You have never had prior education on diabetes management
- There is a change in your diabetes management treatment plan
Once you are referred, Medicare covers an initial 10 hours of diabetic instruction and an additional two hours annually thereafter. They will also pay for three hours of Medical Nutrition Therapy in a calendar year plus two hours every following year.
Pre-diabetes classes are not covered by most health plans but are low cost.
Preventing Diabetes is a two-hour class held regularly at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. To find out more, call Line Goulet at 360.678.7656 ext. 2661.