• Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness
  • Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness

How to educate yourself after a diabetic diagnosis

March 31st, 2015

You’ve gone to the doctor recently and his diagnosis leaves you confused and scared. But you don’t have to feel alone.

Maybe you initially made the appointment because you’ve been losing weight without explanation. Or perhaps you’ve been thirsty and hungry nonstop. Some of you may have been extremely tired lately. Or maybe your vision has been fuzzy, or you might have felt tingling in your arms or legs. Or you may just have went in for a regular checkup and had blood drawn. But it all amounted to one thing: Diabetes.

Whether you have a family history of diabetes or not, it’s not an easy thing to adapt to the news of having this complex condition. Many patients feel overwhelmed, frightened, angry, and even depressed after a diagnosis.

“I’ve had some of my patients state that they were angry or depressed about their diabetes, or in complete denial,” explained Nilda Fimbres, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at Sun Life Family Health Center. “Some were even all of those at the same time.”

All of this is common, but there are many fantastic resources for someone learning how to manage their symptoms and overall health, and make it less overwhelming.

American Diabetes Association

http://www.diabetes.org/

http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/local-offices/phoenix-arizona/

This organization and website is a wealth of information, from articles about diabetes risk, to just the simple basics of the disease. Need help on recipes or menu planning? How about how to exercise when you have diabetes? It’s all there. You can either read about the latest news about your condition online, or subscribe to their magazine.

Arizona Diabetes Coalition

http://www.azdhs.gov/azdiabetes/coalition.htm

According to their website, the idea behind the Arizona Diabetes Coalition is to work toward reducing the burden of diabetes on individuals, families, communities, the health care system, and the state of Arizona. They work hard to promote awareness of risks and management of diabetes. Members of the coalition are also strong advocates of and promote policies and programs that improve Arizona’s diabetic and pre-diabetic residents’ access to medical care, diabetes treatment, and better health outcomes.

Banner Casa Grande Medical Center

https://www.facebook.com/BannerHealth

The Banner Casa Grande Medical Center (BCGMC) has some great resources, as well, including a diabetes support group. This group meets in the Education Center at the hospital every month on the third Tuesday, starting in September and runs through May. Attendants discuss their condition, as well as resources to aid in their disease management. Another topic close to a diabetic is what he or she can eat to manage blood sugar. The BCGMC also provides free monthly nutrition classes to the community. Call ahead, (520) 381-6416, to find out the schedule of topics and to register. They teach a rotation of topics that includes an overview of diabetes, among other fantastic themes (Fiber up for Health, Heart Healthy Nutrition, Supermarket Survival, etc.). Each nutrition education class provides participants with the knowledge and tools to make better cooking and meal choices to improve their health. All classes are taught by the registered dietitian on staff.

Pinal County Diabetes Coalition

Pinal County’s website (http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/) and Pinal County’s health department (http://pinalcountyaz.gov/publichealth) are great resources to find local events, classes, workshops, or support groups.

 

Seeds of Hope Free Screening

http://www.seedsofhopeaz.com/page/free_health_care_screening

This free health care screening is held the second Saturday of every month from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at the Mondo Anaya Community Center (MACC), 1487 N. Crane Street, Casa Grande. Come to this screening as a walk-in (no appointment necessary) and get a free medical consultation for health concerns with a certified medical provider.

Sun Life Family Health Center

www.sunlifefamilyhealth.org

Sun Life is not just a doctor’s office - it has many programs available to the community and its patients. It provides diabetes management and education classes held monthly, Integrated Behavioral Health services for Sun Life patients having difficulty managing their health, chronic disease management workshops, and community outreach to help local residents apply for resources such as Marketplace insurance, Medicaid, AHCCCS, SNAP, and sliding fee payment program at Sun Life.

Whether you personally have been diagnosed with diabetes or it is a close friend or family member, there are local resources available to help you and/or your loved ones learn more about diabetes care, making informed decisions in managing daily health and develop tools to manage diabetes and improve quality of life.

You are not alone.

 

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Photo credit: South African Government Online

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