If you have diabetes you are not alone...
Over 16 million Americans have diabetes, and approximately 5 million of them don't even know that they have the disease. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are fortunate to know. You can take action to control your diabetes and prevent any serious complications.
The Diabetes Management Center at Trinitas Regional Medical Center is here to help you learn how to control and manage your diabetes. Our goal is to help people develop skills to live successfully.
The Diabetes Management Center is nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association for our high quality education program. Our professional staff is comprised of registered nurses and registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators and certified insulin pump trainers.
No matter what type of diabetes you have, how long you may have had this condition, or the complications you experience - the Diabetes Management Center can help you.
You should call us at 908-994-5502 if:
You've just found out that you have diabetes
You want to improve your control and management of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 or Gestational)
You need help with:
- Blood sugar monitoring
- Meal planning
- Weight loss
- Insulin injections
- Insulin pumps
- Foot care
Information On Insurance
Our services are covered by many insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid. Please call your insurance company to confirm coverage.
How To Utilize Our Services
The Diabetes Management Center is designed to assist patients, their families and physicians in the management of diabetes. Patients must be referred to the Center by their primary care physician who will continue to manage the patient's medical care. Education is performed both individually and in classes in both English and Spanish.
Diabetes results from defects in insulin production which results in too-high blood glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Over time, the high glucose levels damage the inner lining of the blood vessels causing complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, circulatory problems, nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, gum disease and others.
It is a chronic, lifelong condition that can be managed with the proper knowledge and skills. Diabetics, working together with their health care providers and support network can lower their risks of developing complications from diabetes.
Diabetes Self-Management education is a prescribed diabetes management tool. At the Diabetes Center we offer educational classes on all aspects of diabetes, including healthy eating, monitoring, exercise, risk reduction, stress management, problem solving and taking medications. At the completion of the diabetes self-management course, you receive a diploma.
Our program is designed to meet your needs in your busy life. You can complete the course in as little as one or two months or take as long as a year. After completion of the main course, we will continue to monitor you every 3 months to assist with any problems that you may be experiencing and to keep you apprised of any changes in diabetes care.
We offer a no-cost support group that meets monthly on the first Tuesday of every month from 2-3 pm. It is a good time to share ideas, discuss problems, meet friends and learn new things or refresh yourself on things that you may have forgotten.
Diabetes and Exercise - Not Just for the Fit
The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate level exercise to help prevent or control diabetes.
You don't have to join a gym to get exercise. Walking, bicycling, swimming, gardening, hiking, dancing or just parking farther away from your destination can help improve your chances of keeping diabetes away.
If you are now a couch potato, start by exercising just 5 or 10 minutes a day and gradually build on it.
Exercise is beneficial in the following ways: glucose control, weight management, stress management, lower blood pressure levels, lower heart rate and a stronger heart, increased metabolism, relief of pain, better lung function and improved mood.
Once you develop the habit of exercising, it is beneficial to add resistance training to your routine, 3 days a week. This would include light weights, swimming, or resistance bands. Resistance training is particularly beneficial for those with arthritis and also helps improve stamina and strength.
Diabetes and Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is the basic ingredient to a healthy life. Eating the right foods in the right amounts will help guide your glucose levels in the right direction and provide you with energy.
Eat a variety of foods each day. Choose high fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and try to minimize salty foods.
Choose fried foods or high fat foods less often and don't add any additional fat to your food. Avoid trans fats completely and minimize your intake of saturated fats (solid fats.) Try to choose healthier fats (liquid fats) such as olive or canola oil.
Be careful with portion sizes. A 9-inch plate is a good size for a meal. One half should be filled with non-starchy vegetables. One quarter of the plate should contain some type of protein and the last quarter should contain some type of starch. An additional piece of fruit with a glass of milk or light yogurt would complete the meal.
Your daily diet should consist of 6-11 servings of breads, grains and starchy vegetables, 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of milk or yogurt, 4-7 servings of meat, cheese or beans, and 2-8 servings of fat., based on age, weight and level of physical activity.
Frequent, small meals with an evening snack is the best choice when trying to control your blood glucose.
Diabetes: The Low-Down on Stress
Stress is something that we cannot avoid. When stress occurs, it is important to recognize where it's coming from.
Is the stress self-induced or is it something beyond your control? The answer to that question will determine how you should proceed to try and manage it.
When our bodies or minds are stressed, our body produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone elevates blood glucose levels beyond what they normally would be, so it's important to try and control the stress in our lives. Stress also is responsible for higher blood pressure and heart rates, which are also detrimental to your health.
If your source of stress is self-induced, you should make changes to what you are doing to cause the stress.
If your source of stress is unavoidable, you can take measures to control how you respond to the stress.
The most important factor is recognizing stress for what it is. If you can't change it, change how you react to it. Getting upset will only make it worse. Talking to a friend or counselor, joining a support group, yoga, exercise or medication can help alleviate the effects of stress.
Diabetes: Frequently-Asked Questions
Can people with diabetes have sugar?
Yes, it is just a form of carbohydrate which can be incorporated into the meal plan.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Frequent urination, excessive thirst, feeling very tired, blurred vision, dry and itchy skin, nausea, sudden weight loss, tingling in the hands and feet, sores that are slow to heal and hunger.
Should diabetics eat less meals during the day to help control their blood glucose levels?
Diabetics have optimal control of their glucose when they eat frequent, small meals. Skipping meals and fasting can actually cause their blood glucose to go up.
Can diabetes be cured?
No, not at this time. Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it will always be with you, just like high blood pressure. It can be controlled but it doesn't go away.
Diabetes: Cholesterol Control
It is very important for everyone to control their cholesterol levels, especially diabetics. Diabetics are at higher risk for blood vessel damage and cholesterol deposits to occur in their blood vessels. This can lead to many problems such as poor circulation, heart attacks and stroke.
Saturated fats, which tend to be your solid fats such as butter, contain a lot of cholesterol. You should use these sparingly.
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which are liquid form, contain lower levels of cholesterol, such as olive and canola oil. These are the fats from which you should get most of your fat calories.
Trans fats (hydrogenated oils) are extremely unhealthy and should not be consumed at all.
Reading food labels will tell you the percentage of saturated and unsaturated fats contained in food. Try to keep your fat calories at 20% of your total calorie intake. This will provide for a healthy diet which would be low in cholesterol.
Your total cholesterol levels should not exceed 200. For men, the total HDL levels (good cholesterol) should be at least 40, and for women, at least 50. Your LDL levels (bad cholesterol) should not exceed 100, and for those with a history of blood vessel disease, no more than 70. Triglycerides (fatty acids) should not exceed 150.
Diabetes: How to Read a Food Label
When reading a food label, you should always look at the serving size first. The numbers on the label refer to the amounts found in one serving, not the whole package.
The total carbohydrate content will tell you how high your blood glucose will go, not the sugar content. One portion of a carbohydrate is 15 gms.
Fiber is an importance part of glucose control. It is a form of carbohydrate, but is not broken down by the body, thereby lowering the glucose effect of the total carbohydrates ingested. It is recommended that people eat at least 20-35 gms. of fiber a day.
A portion of protein equals 7 gms. Protein helps stabilize blood glucose and is an important part of the diabetic meal plan. Most people eat more protein than they actually need.
Fat is an essential ingredient to a healthy diet, but it should be high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. Trans fats should be completely avoided. Saturated fats tend to be your solid fats, whereas unsaturated fats tend to be in liquid form. One portion of fat contains 5 gms. of fat.
Diabetes And Fad Diets
There are many fad diets on the market. Most of these diets suggest eliminating some foods while increasing the intake of other foods. Some of the diets purposely cause ketosis, which can be harmful. Diabetics are at higher risk than the average person for running into serious complications from these diets, but no one is immune from their dangers. These diets may work for someone short term, but the weight lost is usually put back on when they go off of the diet, because they return to their old eating habits.
A well balanced diet is key for long term success. The American Dietetic Association has a web site with nutritional guidance for those interested in eating healthier. The address is www.mypyramid.gov. It is a good place to start when deciding on a healthier way to eat.
A well balanced diet will teach you healthier habits that you can live with over the long term.
Trinitas Welcomes New Medical Division Chief
Johns Hopkins-educated physician named as Endocrinology Chief
Click here to visit the Trinitas Support Groups main page
Location and Phone
The Diabetes Management Center is located at 65 Jefferson Avenue, 2nd Floor, Elizabeth, NJ 07201.