For more information, call: 877-CENTEGRA
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Diabetes Education

Diabetes Education at Centegra

A diabetes diagnosis inevitably means a change in lifestyle, which requires the support of your family and friends. The caring Associates at the Centegra Diabetes Center help you and your loved ones adjust to your new lifestyle.

The goal of Diabetes Self-Management Training at Centegra is to educate you about diabetes and ways to aggressively maintain or keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels managed so there are no complications after diagnosis.

First Steps

If you think you have diabetes, you may not know where to go or who to contact to get a diagnosis. At Centegra, we can help you find a physician or process your referral so you can begin Diabetes Self-Management Training as soon as possible. There are some requirements before your education starts with the Centegra Diabetes Center:

  • You must have an order from a physician who diagnoses diabetes.
  • Ask your doctor for your diagnosis or diagnosis code. You will need this information when you check with your insurance company.
  • If you do not have a physician, call us at (815) 356-2382 and we will assist you.
  • If you already have a physician, call your doctor and ask the office staff to fax your referral to the Diabetes Center at (815) 356-2385.

Diabetes Self-Management Training

At Centegra, we provide consultations with registered dietitians and an education program that helps you understand the changes you need to make to reach your goals. We understand this may be an overwhelming process, but with the help of our caring Associates, you will find a treatment plan that works for you. The Diabetes Self-Management Training process involves the following steps:

  • You will have an individual consultation with a registered dietitian, who will explain the education process. We encourage you to bring a spouse, close friend, or relative because cooking information is shared during this session.
  • You’ll be enrolled in three, three-hour classes that start at the beginning of each month.
  • Two months after your classes are over, Diabetes Self-Management Training requires you to come back for an individual follow up.
  • If you complete all three classes, you are awarded a free, one-month membership to Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center.
  • Ongoing support groups continue after the classes are over. The support groups are safe places where diabetes patients can discuss their experiences while offering support and advice for others in similar situations.

Diabetes Class Information

Registered dietitians and nurses teach classes that educate you about both the nutrition and clinical changes caused by diabetes. We want to empower you, and we offer several classes as a way to do that. For your convenience, classes are offered both in the morning and evening to accommodate different schedules. Each class is outlined in the following way:

  • First Class
    • Dietitian: Carb counting
    • Nurse: What is diabetes? What medications are needed?
  • Second Class
    • Dietitian: Diet, how to eat, and cholesterol
    • Nurse: Large blood vessels and their relation to complications like heart attack and stroke
  • Third Class
    • Dietitian: Different foods that include salt, fiber, omega-3 fats, stanols, and sterols, and ongoing techniques to use when choosing the right foods to eat
    • Nurse: Small blood vessels that include eyes, kidneys, and nerves

To sign-up for the next diabetes self-management class, call (815) 356-2382.

Nutritional Support

Diabetes education includes nutrition. Some of the nutrition services we provide through the self-management classes are:

  • Cookbooks and sample menus
  • A free carb-counting class each quarter that includes a free carb-counting book
  • An on-staff chef who has diabetes demonstrating how to cook healthy meals at home

Support Groups

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. For too many Americans, diabetes is thought of as a minor hindrance rather than the life-changing disease it is.

Support groups allow patients and their loved ones to learn about diabetes and discuss how it has affected their lives. The diabetes support group offered at Centegra meets on a quarterly basis to provide support for anyone with diabetes or those who support family members who have been diagnosed.

Visit our calendar for more information on diabetes support groups in McHenry County.