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Managing Your Diabetes: It's More Than Medicine

Type II diabetes is a complex medical condition that requires a significant amount of effort to manage, not just taking medicines or insulin. Adjusting what, how much and when you eat in addition to exercising and taking good care of your body is essential when it comes to being successful in managing your diabetes. These lifestyle changes can be intimidating and seem impossible, but you are not alone; there are resources in the community that can help you on your journey to better managing your diabetes. Johnson County Hospital offers Diabetes Self-Management Education classes to help you and your loved one better understand diabetes and gives you the tools to better manage it.

Managing diabetes has a great impact on overall health, not just blood sugar control. It affects many other medical conditions as well as the overall status of health and well-being. Diabetes affects the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, eyes, digestive system and skin. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation as well as the number one cause of non-traumatic blindness. Diabetics do not heal as quickly and are more likely to have a serious medical issue related to the common cold, influenza, and simple skin infections. More complicated medical issues are often more difficult to manage in patients with diabetes. Poor blood sugar control also affects mood and attitude. Diabetics are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety as well. The worse the blood sugar control, the more resistant these medical/psychological conditions become to treatment options.

Diabetic Self-Management Education classes are offered on the first three Wednesdays of each month from 3-5 p.m. at Johnson County Hospital by appointment and with a referral from a medical provider. Spouses and/or significant others are encouraged to attend. Three different sessions are offered, one on each of the three Wednesdays. To complete the course, attendance to each session is required. Different information will be presented at each session. Topics include "Separating diabetic myths from facts", "Recognizing signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar", "How and when to test your blood sugar", and "Tips and strategies to be successful." These sessions are conducted by Tecumseh Family Health/Johnson County Hospital Medical Staff who have been trained specifically in Diabetic Self-Management Education. An entire session is dedicated to foods and how they relate to diabetes. This session is conducted by Johnson County Hospital's registered dietician who provides insight on how to read labels to better count carbohydrates in your effort to be successful in managing diabetes.

While being successful in managing your diabetes can be a challenge and can feel overwhelming, starting the journey to take control and manage your or your loved one's diabetes is simple. Contact your healthcare provider at Tecumseh Family Health or Adams Primary Care for more details on Diabetes Self-Management Education classes and to be scheduled for an upcoming class.

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