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Diabetes self-management

Almost 8 percent of the United States' population—23.6 million people—has diabetes. Of those, only 17.9 million people have been diagnosed. In 2007, the number of undiagnosed people with diabetes in the United States was 5.7 million.

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is a key step in improving health outcomes and quality of life. DSME is a process that empowers a person to identify his or her needs and to set goals through evidence-based standards from the American Diabetes Association.

DSME and medical nutrition training (MNT) are complementary services used to improve diabetes care. The overall objectives of DSME are to support informed decision making and problem solving and to improve clinical outcomes. Self-management education focuses on self-care behaviors, such as healthy eating, being active and monitoring blood sugar.

Labette Health's DSME program is a four-week series of classes held every Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. Classes are taught by Nancy Nippolt, program coordinator, and Elaine Hudson, RD, LD. DSME meetings are in the Rector Diabetes Education and Resource Center on the Labette Health campus.

Diabetes support group meetings for people with diabetes and their families and friends are held every two months. Speakers cover a wide variety of diabetes-related topics. Individualized medical nutrition therapy consults with Elaine Hudson, RD, LD, are available by appointment in an office setting.

Labette Health's DSME program has been accredited by the American Diabetes Association since 2005.