Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 04:45 PM
Living with diabetes is easier when patients take charge of their health with education and healthy habits.
Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management - making healthy food choices, staying physically active, monitoring your blood sugar and taking medications as prescribed. Diabetes is also a very personal disease.
Marshall Medical Centers’ Diabetes Management classes help diabetics take charge of their health.
The curriculum of Marshall Medical Centers’ Diabetes Management Classes is from the American Diabetes Association and includes such topics as healthy eating, physical activity, foot care, diabetes medications, treating hypoglycemia, and blood glucose monitoring.
“Alabama is in the ‘Diabetes Belt’ of the nation,” said Julie Drzewiecki, MS, RD, CDE, who teaches the classes with Lisa Bearden, RN, education director for Marshall North. “Our program helps keep our county and state healthy.”
“You can ask about anything - blood sugar, normal levels, normal blood pressure and how it correlates with diabetes,” Bearden told a class recently.
She teaches participants about the medical side of diabetes – the disease, medication, A1C and complications – while Drzewiecki focuses on the nutrition side.
To get started in classes, your physician sends a referral to the hospital and you will be contacted with an appointment. The initial class lasts four hours. A follow-up appointment is made for about a month later to address any questions or concerns class participants may have.
Last year, diabetics who attended a class averaged a one-percent decrease in their A1C, which is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past three months. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. For every 1 percent decrease in A1C, diabetes-related complications are reduced by 21 percent, microvascular complications by one-third and myocardial infarctions by 14 percent.
“The more you know about your test results, the better you can take care of yourself,” Bearden said.
For more information call Drzewiecki at (256)571-8052. There is no cost to attend classes. Classes are held in the 3rd floor classroom of the Medical Plaza next door to Marshall North. Times are noon to 4 pm on the following dates: