By Catherine Brown, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.
What are the benefits/advantages of taking diabetes education classes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires you to make multiple decisions throughout the day to successfully manage blood sugars and prevent diabetes related health problems. These decisions include what to eat, when to eat, when to take medicine, how to check blood sugar, what to do for high or low sugars, and how to take care of your feet. Diabetes education classes are the best way for you to learn the answers to these questions. Classes offer the double benefit of expertise from both a certified diabetes educator facilitating and classmates who have experience with diabetes. Proper education can lower a person’s a1c (blood sugar average), and prevent emergencies like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
How are the classes structured?
Classes are made up of small groups, generally three to six people. There are four core classes that are two hours each, and a follow-up class that is one hour. Most people will benefit from taking all five classes, but your diabetes educator can help guide you to which classes will meet your personal needs.
Do I still need diabetes education if I see my doctor regularly?
It’s a good idea to see a diabetes educator at least annually to be sure you are on track with your diabetes care. The educator works together with your physician to ensure you have the skills and knowledge required to manage diabetes. As a result of research and technology innovations, you may benefit from seeing an educator to learn the latest about nutrition guidelines, new glucometers, new medications, or improved insulin delivery devices.
I’ve had diabetes for 20 years. Can I still benefit from diabetes education classes?
Since diabetes is a chronic and progressive condition, it’s very likely that the strategies used to manage it will need to be adapted over time. Likewise, other health conditions or lifestyle changes may impact how you care for your diabetes. Attending diabetes education classes will help you to stay current on the best treatments and guidelines available now.
Why should I come to the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology to take classes?
At the UMCDE, we regard you as the most important participant in your care and work with you to develop the best plan of care for you. With a hospital mission “We care, we heal, we teach, we discover,” the entire team of educators at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology is devoted to providing you with the highest quality of care based on cutting-edge medicine. Additionally, if you see a medical provider in our center, or at other sites within UMMC, you will benefit from a team approach and better communication among all your providers.
How can I start taking classes at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology?Prior to taking classes, you’ll meet with a diabetes educator individually to determine your educational needs and plan. To schedule an education appointment, call 410-328-6584.