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25.8 million is a big number. If it were dollars, you'd be rich. If it were seconds, you'd have about 10 months. Unfortunately, 25.8 million represents the number of people in the U.S. who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. That's more than 8 percent of the population, and this number is on the rise. In fact, the prevalence of diabetes has tripled since 1980, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The good news is people with the condition have the power to control it and prevent or delay associated complications, including heart disease, vision impairment, foot problems, skin disorders and hearing loss. You just have to get educated on how to do it. That's where Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth's diabetes education program can help.
Self-care is important with any chronic health condition, but none more so than diabetes. Whether you recently found out you have diabetes or you have been living with it for years, talk to your doctor about self-management education.
"Diabetes self-management education and training is a collaborative process where people with or at risk for diabetes learn skills to successfully manage their disease and its related conditions," says Jennifer Shelton, RN, a certified diabetes educator on staff at Baylor Fort Worth. "It's the best medicine you can take for diabetes."
Taught by registered nurses and dietitians who are certified diabetes educators, the program at Baylor Fort Worth will teach you how to eat healthy, exercise properly, monitor your blood glucose, adopt coping mechanisms and reduce your risk of complications.
"Diabetes self-management education and training plays a vital role in improving patient outcomes," Shelton says. "Patients benefit from lifestyle modifications that put them in control of their diabetes rather than the diabetes controlling them."
Baylor Fort Worth offers several diabetes education classes, including:
To register for a class or support group, visit BaylorHealth.com/AllSaintsDiabetes or call 1.800.4BAYLOR.
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