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Diabetes Education at Washington Hospital

Do you know the symptoms of diabetes? Did you know that in Alameda County there are 100,000 people with diabetes and that a third of them don't even know that they have the condition?

Could you be at risk? Or, could someone you know be at risk? Do you know the signs and symptoms of diabetes?

Some of the risk factors include high blood pressure, heart or blood vessel disease, and high cholesterol. Are you overweight or do you consume soda which is high in sugar content? Do you smoke? Is there any person in your family who has diabetes? Or, do you suspect that someone you know may have diabetes? The condition cannot be cured, but it can be controlled through proper medication, diet and moderate exercise.

Newly diagnosed people with diabetes as well as those who are long-term diabetics are encouraged to attend Washington Hospital’s monthly Diabetes Matters programs. These sessions are offered the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. They provide an important resource that helps community members focus on healthy practices and long-term vitality. The more that people know about diabetes, the better decisions they can make daily to maintain optimum health and vitality.

The monthly community forum features presentations by a variety of medical professionals who review new information as well as suggestions for management of the condition. Family members and caregivers are welcome. The programs are presented in the Conrad E. Anderson, MD, Auditorium, located at 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont.

The presentations offer hopeful and educational information about living with diabetes and provide a good resource for up-to-date information and treatment suggestions, facilitated by Vida Reed, RN, CDE, a certified diabetes educator and coordinator of the Outpatient Diabetes Program at Washington Hospital.

“Diabetes is not a new disease, but it has become an epidemic as more and more individuals are diagnosed with the condition. Fortunately, there are many options for treating diabetes,” says Reed.

Diabetes isn’t limited to adults. About 20 percent of middle school students have blood sugar issues that can lead to diabetes. Also, pregnant women sometimes develop gestational diabetes and need to begin regular treatment for the condition.

Reed notes that taking extra steps to stay healthy is particularly important for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and attending the Diabetes Matters sessions will help inform them and their family members about their optimum course of managing diabetes and living well.

Research has shown that diabetes education helps people prevent, delay or reverse complications of diabetes by providing them with strong self-management skills and practices.

The monthly sessions provide helpful reviews of good health routines, including learning about healthy food choices, or a demonstration of an insulin pump and how it helps someone with diabetes treat their condition.

“We provide science-based information, as a source of support and provide education about managing your disease,” says Reed. The monthly presentations cover such topics as suggested exercise and diet plans as well as reviews of new research into the disease.

Washington Hospital’s team of certified diabetes specialists helps attendees take positive steps toward lifetime control of their diabetes. Those with recently diagnosed diabetes as well as others who have been dealing with the disease for several years can learn about and benefit from new scientific research and healthy practices.

The Washington Hospital Diabetes Education Program has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-management Education.

Reed also facilitates a diabetes support group which follows the informational session, from 8 to 9 p.m. on the same night, in the same location.

Washington Hospital also has an Outpatient Diabetes Center, at 3575 Beacon Ave., Fremont 94538, 510.745.6556, open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming, but Washington Hospital’s staff teaches the skills needed to control diabetes for a lifetime and help patients stay on track with their care. Research shows that diabetes education helps people prevent, delay or reverse complications through effective self-management. Diabetes professionals work with patients, their family and their physician to design a plan that can fit into the patient’s life.