By Erin Decker, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE
Can you cure diabetes?
What’s the best diet for diabetes?
Did I cause my diabetes?
Will I always have to take medication?
Whether you are newly diagnosed with diabetes or have been living with it for some time, chances are at least one of these questions have popped into your head. A diagnosis of diabetes can come as a shock to many people, along with feelings of overwhelm, distress, and isolation. But what if we told you that there was a way you could not only live with diabetes, but thrive with the condition? Truth is, many people with diabetes live long, healthy lives. With Avance Care’s virtual Thriving with Diabetes program, you can connect with others with diabetes in a safe and supportive environment. It is led by certified diabetes care and educations specialists, registered dietitians, and guest speakers who will cover a variety of diabetes-related topics.
When are the classes held?
Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 PM, Wednesday afternoons from 12:00-1:00 PM, and Saturday mornings from 11:00 AM-12:00 PM. Each class will be individualized depending on the participants and the level of engagement. This means that no two classes will be exactly the same!
See below for an overview of the classes:
Introduction to the Program and the Diabetes Disease Process
This is the first class in the series in which all participants are encouraged to enroll. For someone newly diagnosed, or who hasn’t had the education before, it will provide an overview of the diabetes disease process. Think of it as a prerequisite to the other classes: understanding this information will provide the foundational knowledge to understand where the recommendations come from. There will also be opportunities to explore your feeling upon diagnosis, some myths and facts about diabetes, and receive goal setting guidance and an explanation of what your support team may look like.
Self-monitoring is a major component of diabetes self-management. Unlike other medical conditions, diabetes is primarily a self-managed condition. This means that a lot of your treatment decisions are up to you on a day-to-day basis. This class will discuss the processes of monitoring blood sugar, blood pressure, food intake, and activity. You will be able to practice identifying how different lifestyle factors affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.
Understanding what to eat with diabetes can be confusing! Should you eat low carb, plant-based, or experiment with keto? Truth is, there is no perfect diet. This class will present an overview of healthy eating with diabetes and provide you with the skills to understand how your own body responds to different eating patterns.
Medications: Q&A With a Pharmacist
Have you ever wondered: Do I have to take medication? Or what’s the difference between insulin and other injectable medications? If you are overwhelmed by the number of diabetes medications out there, you are not the only one! Developments seem to happen overnight. This class provides you the opportunity to engage with a diabetes-specialist pharmacist to understand how and why different medications work for people with diabetes.
When most people think of diabetes, their mind drifts to the negative side effects that come with it. This class will dive into what complications can come from diabetes and, more importantly, what steps you can take to prevent them. According to Dr. William H. Polonsky, the president and founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, well-managed diabetes is the leading cause of nothing! If you find yourself feeling anxious about what could happen, this class is for you.
Stress Management and Coping
Is stress causing your high blood sugar or is high blood sugar causing you stress? Maybe it’s both! We live in a fast-paced society that idolizes busyness. Come to this class to learn how stress affects your health and diabetes. You will learn to identify sources of stress and build the skills to cope with it effectively.
Physical Activity: Led by a Diabetes-Specialist Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian
Time to get moving! Physical activity has massive benefits for lowering blood sugar. But, we know it can be intimidating to get started, or to even maintain a routine once you have it. This class will teach you how to safely engage in exercise with diabetes and brainstorm strategies to incorporate it into a busy schedule.
Diabetes Distress and Preventing Burnout
Let’s be real: managing diabetes is not fun. There are ups and downs, literally (blood sugar rollercoaster, anyone?) Diabetes distress describes the emotional toll that diabetes takes on the individual with the condition. If it is not addressed, it can lead to burnout. This class will provide support for those dealing with diabetes distress and offer skill-building activities to identify and cope with the ongoing demands.
Maintaining a Positive Mindset and Preventing Lapses
Have you ever thought to yourself: Blood sugar’s high again; I’ll never get this down. What’s the point in even checking? If so, it’s not just you. At this point you know that diabetes affects everyone in real and challenging ways. Maintaining a positive mindset all the time may be unrealistic. But have you ever heard the phrase: you are what you think? This class explores how tweaks in thinking patterns can help you achieve your goals and finally stop “falling off the wagon”.
Monthly Free Support Group
Living with diabetes is an ongoing process. Diabetes is always changing. Taking a one-time class does not provide the real support that you need. Avance Care now offers a free, monthly support group for those living with diabetes. Topics will be announced the week of the class.
How do I get started?
The Thriving with Diabetes virtual program begins with an hour-long, one-on-one virtual visit with a diabetes specialist dietitian. During this appointment, you and your dietitian will work together to build a learning plan that meets your individualized needs. You will set up Map4Health, a free smartphone app, to track your goal progress and receive secure messages and updates about class from your dietitian. Your dietitian will then schedule you for the appropriate classes and provide you with an individualized support plan.
Most insurers will cover virtual diabetes education and support. Avance Care Wellness Services will verify your insurance coverage prior to class time. If you do not have insurance coverage, the classes will $25 per class.
What are you waiting for?
Are you newly diagnosed with diabetes and wanting to learn more?
Are you struggling to manage or cope with diabetes?
Or have you been managing it for years and just looking for a refresher?
Wherever you find yourself, you are not alone. Diabetes affects all kinds of people. But why just live with diabetes when you can thrive with diabetes? Reach out today to schedule your one-on-one virtual assessment and get on your way to a better life with diabetes!
See below for registration options: