What is diabetes education?

Debby Nowack
Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator, Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center

What is diabetes education anyway? The American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators have established guidelines for information taught in diabetes education programs. 

Man on a bicycleLuckily, diabetes education is not about someone telling you what you can and can’t eat. Rather, diabetes education includes suggestions about how much of various foods is recommended, but you pick the food. Diabetes education also includes the knowledge and skills for daily routines such as when to take diabetes medication and how and when to check blood sugars as well as daily foot care and safety tips for physical activity. Diabetes education can help patients understand what to do when blood sugars run too low or too high, how to read food labels, how to improve cholesterol and blood pressure (very important for many people with diabetes) and when to call your doctor. 

Durham Regional offers diabetes and nutrition programs at our Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center, located at 407 Crutchfield Street in Durham. For 2012-13, we have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in North Carolina. Our diabetes care received special recognition as a high-performing area. To learn more, visit our website.

These are some of the comments participants have made after attending our diabetes education classes:

“The instructors and classes were great and easy to understand. I really learned a lot of important information that will help me improve my diabetes and overall health.”

“Everyone who has diabetes needs this class. It helps give you confidence and accept the disease. It has helped me a lot.”

“I was very nervous at first because I was unfamiliar with diabetes. The more classes I attended the easier it got and the smarter my wife and I got.”

“Very excellent instructors and materials. Class is well worth the time. It helps you understand diabetes and how to deal with the stress and problems of the disease.”

“Very helpful. Comfortable setting! Calmed my fears and answered all my concerns and questions! What a blessing!”

“All the classes were helpful and presented in an understanding manner. There was always adequate time for questions and discussion.”

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