Education is Key to Living with or Preventing Diabetes
In 2014, 29.1 million Americans were living with diabetes. Of the 29.1 million diabetics, 8.1 million were unaware they were diabetics. Living with diabetes can lead to major complications within a person’s body. If unattended, a person’s life can completely change. However, with help, diabetes is a disease that can be managed with proper education and lifestyle changes. South Central Regional Medical Center offers diabetes classes, education and a support group for those who may need assistance.
Greg Stueve, RN, CDE, stresses the importance of understanding diabetes symptoms. “Most people with uncontrolled diabetes are fatigued and have no energy. They suffer from constant thirst, frequent need to urinate and slow healing of their wounds.”
Diabetes is a disease that lives in a person’s blood stream and has access to effect the entire body. “Diabetes change damage someone anywhere in their body,” states Stueve.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness, heart attacks and strokes. Now, diabetes has become number one in new cases of dialysis and at lower extremity amputations. Therefore, if diabetes is unattended, it will control a person’s body.
To educate people how to control their diabetes, South Central Regional Medical Center offers diabetes classes to anyone with a referral from a healthcare provider. “During diabetes education we talk about what diabetes is, how it is tested for, the signs and symptoms, diet, exercise, medications and complications that will occur if it is not treated.”
The more knowledge people have, the more power they have to fight this disease. Diabetes is very common in Mississippi, therefore it is important for people to learn about diabetes and how it affects a person. The diabetes classes offered by South Central Regional Medical Center are covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance plans.
“Complications of diabetes are not inevitable,” states Stueve. “You can greatly delay the onset of the issues or possibly prevent complications, if preventative action is taken.”
Along with educational classes, South Central Regional Medical Center hosts a monthly support group for people affected by diabetes. The Diabetic Support Group is open to the community. “This group is a great way for people with diabetes to learn more about the disease, to meet other people with diabetes and generally improve their health. One of the major advantages about the support group is that everyone shares the same issue or has family members that have the same issue. This support group becomes like a family and creates the opportunity to make lifelong friendships.”
The Diabetes Support Group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. at South Central Place in Laurel. Each meeting offers different types of interactive education for those who attend. Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Wellness Instructors, Dieticians or community representatives attend to provide new information and insight on how to live with diabetes.
South Central’s Diabetes Support Group is free and open to anyone who would like to attend on the second Tuesday of each month at South Central Place in Laurel at 1 p.m. Educational classes for diabetes are offered with a physician referral. To receive a referral, please contact your family medicine provider. To learn more about the classes and support group, visit scrmc.com.