Iowa Specialty Hospital

Diabetes Education

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Diabetes is a complex and challenging disease that requires daily self-management decisions. You may be working with yourWoman Cutting Vegetables provider to achieve your diabetes care goals, but diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES), also known as Diabetes Self- Management Training (DSMT) might be the additional support you need in managing your diabetes.

DSMES is covered by Medicare Part B and most private health insurance plans and gives you the knowledge, skills, and support to manage your diabetes. It provides you with the foundation to help you navigate your daily self-care with confidence.

At Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics, a diabetes care and education specialist will work with you to design a management plan tailored to your lifestyle, culture, and beliefs. Best of all, they can help you cope with your emotions and the demands of managing a 24/7 disease. Our program has been accredited by the American Diabetes Association.

Increase Your Quality of Life

Diabetes education is built on seven self-care behaviors. Learning about each of these behaviors can help you reach your health goals, and in turn, increase your quality of life. Together with your diabetes education specialist, you’ll work through problems and determine possible solutions.

Healthy Eating
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods or stop eating in restaurants. In fact, there is nothing you can’t eat! But you need to know how foods you eat affect your blood sugar.

Being Active
Being active has many health benefits that impact your diabetes management like lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, lowering stress and anxiety, and improving your mood.

Regularly checking your blood sugar levels and other key health factors, like blood pressure and kidney and foot health, gives you vital information to help you make decisions about your diabetes.
Taking Medication
Insulin, pills that lower your blood sugar, blood pressure medication, cholesterol - lowering medication, or a number of other medications may work together to lower your blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of complications, and help you feel better.

Problem Solving
Everyone encounters problems with their diabetes management; you can’t plan for every situation you may face. However, there are some problem-solving skills that can help you prepare for the unexpected and make a plan for dealing with similar problems in the future.

Healthy Coping
It is natural to have mixed feelings about your diabetes management and experience highs and lows. The important thing is to recognize these emotions as normal and take steps to reduce the negative impact they can have on your self-care.

Reducing Risks
By understanding the risks, you can take steps now to lower your chance of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes self-management education (DSMES) and support works.

Studies show that DSMES helps you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Managing your diabetes allows you to stay healthier and reduce the risk of diabetes complications. A 1% decrease in A1c levels has been found to be associated with risk reductions of:

  • 37% for microvascular complications
  • 21% for death related to diabetes
  • 14% for myocardial infarction

Help When You Need It Most
It’s never a bad time to book an appointment with a diabetes education specialist, but there are a few times in your life when seeing one is extra important.


Scheduling an Appointment

Diabetes Education is provided by our registered dietitians, McKenzie Van Heerden, Amber Kaster, and Annette Snyder.  To learn more about our dedicated team, please visit our Diabetes Education Providers page.

Your first appointment with our diabetes education specialist will require a referral from your primary healthcare provider. To schedule an appointment talk with your provider or call 888-258-0078.

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