What is diabetes? It’s not an illness you can catch like a cold or cure like an infection. It’s a condition in which your body cannot maintain the right level of blood sugar or glucose—the source of energy that powers muscles, organs and other body systems.
Can diabetes be treated? Yes. The main goal of diabetes treatment for both type 1 and type 2 is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as safely possible, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Treatment for type 1 involves matching the diet, activity and injected insulin.
Treatment for type 2 usually involves changes in diet, weight loss (if needed) and regular exercise. Medication, such as insulin (injected medicines that improve the release or use of insulin) or oral medication also may be necessary. A person with diabetes needs to get regular screening tests for possible complications.
What Can I Do? Learn all you can about diabetes. Attend diabetes education sessions at an accredited program, where you can obtain individualized education. Prince William Diabetes Services program is recognized by the ADA for quality patient education. Staff includes certified diabetes educators, registered nurses, dietitians and exercise specialists.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there about diabetes and how it is controlled,” said Kathy Reily, diabetes educator in the Prince William Hospital Wellness Center. “Diabetes education can make a huge difference in a person’s quality of life and confidence in living well with diabetes.”
For help with your diabetes, Prince William Hospital Wellness Center’s certified diabetes educators can help you create a plan for healthy lifestyle changes, including plans for weight management, healthy choices and blood sugar management. To learn more, call 703-369-8405.
Upcoming Event: On Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Prince William Hospital will host a free diabetes expo with health screenings, food demonstrations, a question-and- answer session with physicians and diabetes specialists—and more. The event will be held in Medical Building 1, in the Fourth Floor Conference Room of the main hospital. More information can be found online at www.pwhs.org/events.
Prince William Health System (PWHS), part of Novant Health, is a nationally recognized health and wellness provider comprised of an integrated network of inpatient and outpatient services and programs. PWHS serves the greater Northern Virginia community to provide care for the entire family. In early 2014, PWHS will open a new 60-bed community hospital in Haymarket. Visit PWHS online at www.pwhs.org.