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October 13th, 2016

Diabetes 101: The class that could save your life

By uclahealth

Diabetes 101: The class that could save your life

Approximately 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, a chronic disease that affects how your body processes glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood. When you have diabetes, choices you make throughout your day can have a significant impact on your health.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your choices are healthy ones. UCLA endocrinologist Matthew Freeby, MD, is on a mission to help patients with diabetes do just that.

Diabetes care: To the doctor … and beyond

Taking control of your diabetes goes far beyond regular doctors’ appointments – though those are important, too. The bulk of your diabetes care happens between visits. What you eat, your exercise habits, how well you’re monitoring your blood-sugar levels – all these factors contribute to your ongoing health. And you can take the best care of yourself when you know how and what to do.

Class is in session

The evidence is overwhelming: If you know better, you can do better. Diabetes education directly affects your health, from helping you keep your glucose under control to maintaining a healthy blood pressure to losing weight. In fact, the combined attendance of classes and follow-up visits has a similar impact on your glucose levels as taking standard diabetes medications.

If you have type 2 diabetes and are a UCLA primary-care patient, then grab your pencil case: UCLA Health is offering daylong workshops combined with one-on-one follow-up visits from diabetes educators. For those who are not patients, e-mail diabeteseducation@mednet.ucla.edu for information on publicly-available diabetes self-care classes certified by the American Diabetes Association.

Primary care vs. endocrinologist

Why are these workshops specifically targeting patients in a primary-care setting? Because in practical terms, that’s where most diabetes patients receive their care. There are too many diabetes patients for all of them to be under the care of an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in hormone imbalances such as diabetes.

In fact, many diabetes patients don’t even see an endocrinologist. That is why it’s so important to have an ongoing relationship with a primary care doctor if you have diabetes. Your doctor can monitor the condition and help you manage it, to keep you feeling your best. These courses are working in partnership with your primary care doctor, providing an extra resource so you can receive specialized information and education.

Open to all

Recently diagnosed – or had diabetes for years? Confident about diabetes management – or need a little extra boost to keep things under control? These care workshops provide benefits for everyone with type 2 diabetes, no matter your age or the stage of your condition.

Diabetes workshops: What’s in it for me?

What will you gain from attending these workshops?

Diabetes is not a one-pill-and-done kind of condition. Diabetes management is not a simple task. When you are informed about the best steps to take, you can manage it more successfully. Attending our workshops will provide you with more understanding about:

  • Diabetes in general
  • What glucose levels mean
  • How episodes of high and low sugar are treated
  • How to check sugars
  • Medications and their side effects
  • Potential complications and how to prevent them
  • Lifestyle modifications like diet and exercise and how they can (positively) affect your health

Diabetes requires constant monitoring and many things can affect your sugar levels: how much you slept, if you have a cold, if you changed your diet, if you’re stressed. But armed with the right knowledge, you can make smart choices to keep you feeling healthy and strong.

For more information about the program or to register to attend, call 310-794-1299, or e-mail diabeteseducation@mednet.ucla.edu. To learn more about our approach to diabetes and other endocrine conditions, visit the UCLA Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism.

Tags: blood-sugar levels, chronic disease, diabetes, diabetes management, diabetes workshop, diet, Dr. Matthew Freeby, endocrinologist, Endocrinology, exercise, glucose, Healthy Living, Wellness

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