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Published on November 14, 2013

Demystifying Diabetes

November 14, 2013

If you or a loved one is living with diabetes, it’s important you have the facts so you can live a full, happy, and healthy life.

MYTH #1: Diabetes is my fault. “Many people feel guilty about their current lifestyles and wonder if they could have done something differently,” says Peggy Marchini, RD, certified diabetes educator. “We do know that heredity plays a huge role in the development of diabetes. We are here to reassure people with diabetes and teach them the best way to manage their blood sugar levels moving forward.”

MYTH #2: If I have diabetes, I can’t have sweets. “Patients come in and want to know exactly what they are allowed to eat,” says Sue Clifford, RN, certified diabetes educator. “We teach them there are no forbidden foods. Instead, they should be more aware of carbohydrates. That way, they can make the best choices to manage diabetes while still enjoying life.”

MYTH #3: I can make my diabetes disappear. “Many books and articles out there may mislead patients by saying diabetes can be cured or put into remission,” says Marchini. “Making smart choices can help control complications related to diabetes. How one person manages diabetes may differ from the approach taken by another patient, so we counsel individually as well as in a group setting.”

MYTH #4: I am totally responsible for the extra weight I am carrying. “Patients with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to carry extra weight due to a hormone deficiency,” says Clifford. “We can offer patients specific medications to boost weight loss, along with lifestyle management through planning and reaching out for support.” The diabetes program at KishHealth System, which has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association since 2002, helps patients come to terms with diabetes in ways that work best for their lives and personal goals. “Each person’s plan is unique, and different approaches work for different people,” says Marchini. “We don’t do diets here. We teach about the importance of healthy eating—all foods fit in diabetes.”

Whether you want to talk with someone on an individual basis or connect with other people coping with diabetes, KishHealth System’s diabetes education team has all the options covered with classes and events throughout the year.

“We have a support group  that meets four times a year,” says Sue Clifford, RN, certified diabetes educator on staff at KishHealth System. “They’re great get-togethers for people to share their experiences. Our group classes are also small—with just four or five people—so participants feel at ease, and we always urge people to bring loved ones for extra support.”

Diabetes self-education classes and support services are typically covered by insurance or Medicare. Check with your insurance provider for more details. 

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