Iredell Health System’s Wellness & Diabetes Center is pleased to announce a new diabetes support group beginning January 15. The group will be held every third Tuesday from 3 pm to 4 pm at the center, located at 285-D North Main Street in Troutman.
“Our support group will be in a friendly, laid-back, non-threatening environment where people can ask questions,” said Heather White, diabetes program manager. “We’re here to answer questions.”
Open to all people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and their families, participants will include patients involved in the Health System’s Diabetes Self-Management Training, a 10-hour program which features group classes and typically takes one to two months to complete.
“Iredell Health System’s Diabetes Self-Management Training program empowers individual patients to cope with diabetes. It’s about providing patients with a team of people to help, and teaching them how to live healthy with diabetes because, ultimately, it’s a lifestyle,” White said.
Participants in the training program first meet with a nurse or registered dietician and discuss their history, after which the dietician creates a personalized meal plan. The group class teaches fundamentals and techniques for diet and lifestyle, such as how to recognize and count carbohydrates and regularly check blood sugar.
Patients’ spouses are welcome to attend both the support group and training program, often benefiting from participation, especially if they help with shopping or cooking.
One reason for a support group is the need to better understand a variety of diabetic complications, such as what low blood sugar or a sick day feels like and how to avoid them.
“To a doctor considering to refer a patient to our training program or support group, I would say we’d like to talk with your patients about what diabetes is and how medications work,” said White. “We’ll help them learn how to check their blood pressure, eat and count carbs, reduce complications, and live well with diabetes.”
Support group sessions will not be limited to specific topics each month, but will include whatever participants would like to discuss related to diabetes.
For more information on diabetes services and the support group, call 704-878-4556.