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Using Glucometer at Home

Diabetic Education

Diabetic Education Class

At Bellbrook Family Practice, we host free quarterly diabetic education classes. Our goal is to provide information and resources to help patients living with diabetes better understand their condition.

Whether you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, want to become a better support person for someone you know, or would just like to learn more about your condition with diabetes, please join us at the next group class.

We currently have no classes scheduled due to the current pandemic. Please check back in a few months for updates. 

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood.

Types Of Diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes, previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5- percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are less well defined for Type 1 diabetes than for Type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90 percent to 95% percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.

Gestational diabetes develops in 2 percent to 5 percent of all pregnancies but usually disappears after pregnancy. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing Type 2 diabetes.

Common Symptoms

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

Frequent Urination
Excessive Thirst
Feeling Very Hungry
Dry Skin
Extreme Fatigue

Sudden Vision Changes/Pain or Pressure in One of Both Eyes

Cuts/Bruises That Are Slow to Heal
Unexplained Weight Loss More (Type 1)
Tingling, Pain, or Numbness in the Hands/Feet (Type2)

Proper Nutrition Is Essential for All Diabetic Individuals

Control of blood glucose levels is only one goal of a healthy eating plan for diabetic people. A diabetic diet helps achieve and maintain a normal body weight, while preventing the common cardiac and vascular complications of diabetes. There is no prescribed diet plan for diabetes. Eating plans are tailored to fit each individual's needs, schedules, and eating habits. Each diabetes diet plan must be balanced with the intake of insulin and oral diabetes medications. In general, the principles of a healthy diabetes diet are the same for everyone. Consumption of various foods in a healthy diet includes whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, vegetarian substitutes, poultry or fish.

The American Diabetes Association and many experts recommend that 50% to 60% of daily calories come from carbohydrates, 12% to 20% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat. People with diabetes may benefit from eating small meals throughout the day, instead of eating one or two heavy meals. No foods are absolutely forbidden for people with diabetes. Attention to portion control and advance meal planning can help people with diabetes enjoy the same meals as everyone else. 

6 Tips for Avoiding Complications From Diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes does not always mean a lifetime complications. By devising a plan of action for your diabetes management, you’ll reduce many of the risks associated with having diabetes.

  • Take control of blood glucose. This is your first line of defense against diabetes complications. By maintaining tight control over your blood glucose, you may minimize the damaging effects of unpredictable glucose levels on your body. You’ll also be lowering your A1C level, a test doctors use to determine how well diabetes is being controlled. Aim for an A1C reading of less than 7%.

  • Watch your cholesterol. Total cholesterol levels should generally be 200 mg/dl, but discuss personal goals with your doctor. Watch out for LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, too—LDL can clog the walls of arteries, so keep it under 70 mg/dl to avoid problems. In addition, HDL cholesterol should be greater than 40 mg/dl for men, and 50 mg/dl for women. Triglycerides, a type of fat, should also be under 150 mg/dl.​
  • Keep blood pressure in check. Blood pressure readings measure the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure is more common in people with diabetes, and increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney, and eye diseases. Aim for a reading of 130/80 or lower.
  • Don’t forget your kidneys. Kidneys are the organs that make sure the fluids in your body are balanced and processed properly. When you have diabetes, your kidneys can become compromised due to poorly controlled blood glucose and high blood pressure, so be certain to have a microalbumin test at least once per year, with a goal of less than 30 micrograms per milligram creatinine.
  • Lookout for your eyes. High blood glucose can cause serious vision problems. If you have diabetes, it is crucial to have a dilated eye exam once per year. If you have any vision problems, report them to your doctor immediately.
  • Examine your feet. It’s very important for people with diabetes to check their feet for wounds or fissures on a daily basis. If you discover a wound, treat it immediately and monitor the healing process.

Every Three Months

  • Regular Office Visits With Your Provider
  • A1C Blood Test (Every 3 Months If Your Blood Sugar Number Is High)
  • Blood Pressure Check
  • Weight Check
  • Foot Check

 Every Six Months

  • A1C Blood Test (Every 6 Months If Your Blood Sugar Number Is Low)
  • Teeth and Gums Exam by Your Dentist

Every Year 

  • Physical Check-Up (Exam) by Your Provider
  • Complete Foot Exam
  • Check Cholesterol, Kidney Functions, and Other Lab Tests
  • Complete (Dilated) Diabetic Eye Exam by an Eye Doctor
  • Flu Shot
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