The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program
The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at Houston Northwest Medical Center serves people with diabetes and their families. With their physician's order and direction, the trained staff teaches participants about their individual needs and offers ways to lead an enjoyable lifestyle despite having this disease.
The program offers counseling, classes and a support group to improve self-care skills and to enhance the overall quality of their lives. It is designed to help participants learn how to make informed choices in daily living, promote overall wellness and reduce the risk of complications from diabetes. Participation in the program requires a doctor’s order and may be covered by insurance plans.
The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at Houston Northwest Medical Center has been Recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-Management Education*.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of your metabolism, the way your body uses digested food for energy and growth. More than 20 million Americans have diabetes, but nearly one-third of those people do not know they have the disease. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that requires management to reduce the risk of complications and other medical conditions.
Glucose, a form of sugar in the blood, is the main source of fuel for your body. Many of the foods you eat are broken down into glucose. After digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream where it is used for by cells for energy and growth. Glucose is able to get into the cells with the presence of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas.
Normally, the pancreas would automatically produce the right amount of insulin to move glucose from your blood into the cells as you eat. However, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately to insulin in people with diabetes. The glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into urine, and passes out of the body in urine, leading your body to lose its main source of fuel.
Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?
Take our online assessment ask about risk factors—conditions that may put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Understanding Your Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which accounts for approximately 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system turns against a part of the body. In the case of diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas leaving it producing little or no insulin.
Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children and young adults, but it may appear at any age. Symptoms may develop over a short period of time, although the destruction of beta cells may begin years earlier. Some symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and extreme fatigue.
Most common is type 2 diabetes, which is most often associated with certain ethnicities, older age, obesity, physical inactivity, a family history of diabetes or previous history of gestational diabetes. Around 80 percent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin for the body, but the body suffers from a condition called insulin resistance in which it cannot use the insulin effectively. Over time, insulin production decreases and results in a situation similar to type 1 diabetes—glucose builds up in the blood and your body cannot make efficient use of its main source of energy.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may develop gradually, and they may include increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue and slow healing of wounds or sores.
An Online Workable Guide to Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Visit our online guide to help you manage type 2 diabetes.
What is Pre-Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes exists when your blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Becoming more common in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 40 percent of American adults ages 40 to 74 have pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, but many steps can be taken to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Managing body weight and increased physical activity can lower your risk of developing diabetes. Consult with your physician on the steps you can take to help prevent diabetes.
Our Diabetes Self-Management Education Program offers participants the following:
- Planning and managing meals
- Making physical activity part of daily life
- Using medications correctly
- Monitoring blood sugar and appropriate use of results
- Learning methods to reduce risks of long-term complications
- Setting goals to promote health
- Learning how to solve problems involved with diabetes management
- Addressing emotional adjustment to diabetes
- Education regarding pre-pregnancy issues and managing pregnancy with existing diabetes or gestational diabetes
For more information about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program, call 281-440-2266.
Insurance Plans Accepted
Click here for a listing of insurance plans accepted.
Diabetes Support Group
Click here or call 281-440-2266 for more information or to register.
American Diabetes Association
For more information visit the American Diabetes Association.