Diabetic Support Group
Diabetes, particularly Type 2, is a disease we frequently diagnose and treat. The Diabetic Support Group was created to assist our clients in understanding their diabetes, as well as to improve self-care and diet.
During the six-week class, many topics are covered. Basic information about diabetes is provided, such as how to manage high or low blood sugars and how their medications work and the best ways to manage them. We have classes that discuss depression, as we know any chronic disease will affect one’s mood and mental health. Our ophthalmologist discusses eye disease, specifically diabetic retinopathy and macular disease. We have a podiatrist who educates on the importance of frequent foot exams and how to manage the burning or pain in feet known as neuropathy.
Diet is a critical issue. Often our clients eat at fast food chains, as a $3 hamburger is more filling and cheaper than a salad or a meal with vegetables. Fresh food options are limited, many clients have co-existing heart disease or hypertension, and finding foods lower in salt is challenging. As providers, we found a lack of education is instrumental in our patients making poor food choices. We have a Wellness Advocate who will teach the clients how to shop the outer aisles of the stores for the healthiest foods. In addition, they will do a cooking demonstration of a meal that is shared by all, with a cost of $5 or less. (This is a very popular class!). At each session, we provide a healthy, lower cost snack to help expand their knowledge of healthy options.
Empowering our clients with education, examples of nutritious foods and snacks not only helps them physically but also provides self-confidence. Mr. C, who attended our six-week class, decreased his Hemoglobin A1c, or a marker of diabetes control, from a high of 8.9% to 6.5% after attending the classes. Many clients have expressed an increased confidence of diabetic management.
SOME Medical clinic has run the Diabetic Support Group since July 2021. We will be starting our sixth class session mid-October, which is an important time as we head towards the holidays. Our goal is to have a class every quarter to ensure all clients are invited.