Diabetes can be hard to control without support and education. Many studies have shown how important is it for patients to learn to manage their diabetes themselves. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says it “is a critical element of care for all people with diabetes.” The ADA has national standards for education, and Maine Medical Partners – Endocrinology & Diabetes Center follows those standards and maintains certification to offer this education.
Diabetes classes at Maine Medical Partners – Endocrinology & Diabetes Center are taught by certified diabetes educators or educators who are working towards certification. They may be registered dietitians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or other health care providers who have been teaching diabetes classes for at least 2,000 hours, and have passed a qualifying exam.
Classes are designed for both the person with diabetes or pre-diabetes and their support person. For those who find a classroom setting challenging, education is available one-on-one.
Most of the classes, unless noted otherwise, are covered by major insurance companies, but you should check with your insurance company to be sure.
Eating Well with Diabetes:
This class is for people with diabetes who want to learn how to eat healthy, based on their current lifestyles and medications. This two-hour session offers participants the basic information needed to understand how different food groups affect diabetes. Our registered dietitians will discuss recommended daily allowances of all food groups, vitamins and nutrients. They will offer suggestions on how to plan meals and snacks to feel satisfied while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This class is highly recommended for anyone newly diagnosed with diabetes, or anyone who has not had a refresher for several years.
People diagnosed with pre-diabetes can make positive changes in their lives now to avoid getting diabetes. This two-hour class will review the most effective, proven methods – healthy eating and regular physical activity. Our registered dietitian will review tips for modifying existing eating habits and safely adding or increasing your current activity level. Most insurance companies do not cover education for pre-diabetes. This class is offered for $5.00.
Diabetes Self-Management Education:
This six-hour class is offered the second Thursday of every month. Participants can ask questions, talk with others with type 2 diabetes, and learn about self-management from our certified diabetes educators. Our educators use a variety of teaching methods to review what diabetes is, complications of diabetes, managing diabetes day to day, and how to watch for possible complications. The class topics include a review of how sugar is used in the body, what's different in your life with diabetes, problems with high blood sugar, symptoms and management of low blood sugar, exercise, medication, the role of stress and stress management, foot care, blood sugar testing (and what the numbers mean), regular tests to screen for complications, and sick day guidelines. The subject is serious, but our educators are known for making this a fun-filled and informative program.
For people considering an insulin pump, this class is an important first step. In this two-hour class one of our certified diabetes educators will discuss the steps to become a pump candidate. They will review terms used with pump therapy, and participants will have hands-on time with different pumps on the market today. Following the class, everyone is encouraged to meet with a registered nurse to review what they learned. This class is open to existing Maine Medical Partners – Endocrinology & Diabetes Center patients.
These quarterly classes are open to participants in the Diabetes Self-Management Classes. The focus of these 90-minute follow-up classes is to review participants’ progress on their goals, to discuss changing behaviors, and to help set new goals. Taught by a registered dietitian and registered nurse, this class is a great opportunity to get answers for questions about diabetes. Participants in the follow-up classes are highly successful in managing their diabetes. Most insurance companies cover this class; however, we recommend checking with your insurance company.
This weekly class is offered to women newly diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The two-hour class is designed to help women have a successful pregnancy. Taught by one of our registered dietitians and our nurse practitioner, the class covers what gestational diabetes means for women and their babies, and how to eat healthy and maintain blood sugar that’s as close to normal as possible.