Diabetes Program at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Earns ADA Recognition|
ARLINGTON, Texas — When Kerry Bass’ doctor diagnosed him with type II diabetes in June, he felt completely lost.
“I wasn’t sure what types of food to eat, and I felt like the information on the Internet was too difficult to understand,” the 59-year-old Arlington resident said.
For more direction, Bass enrolled in the diabetes self-management program at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. The 10-month-old outpatient program, offered by the hospital’s Center for Diabetes Self-Management, recently earned official recognition from the American Diabetes Association for meeting its stringent national quality standards.
The diabetes program aims to give patients like Bass the tools to manage the disease on their own. The center’s nurses and dietitians offer individualized education on topics such as nutrition, physical activity, treatment options, glucose monitoring and medication.
Diabetes affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, or almost 8 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To manage diabetes successfully, patients must be able to set goals and make daily decisions related to nutrition, exercise, and medication that are both effective and fit their lifestyle, said Julie Holland, R.N., an educator in the diabetes center. The center gives patients the support they need to continuously make those decisions.
“Self-management of chronic diseases like diabetes is so important,” Holland said. “We strive to empower our patients and their families with knowledge about diabetes and guide them in achieving their personal health goals.”
Bass said learning how to monitor his blood sugar levels through the program has been the key to controlling his diabetes and preventing hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when levels drop too low and can require hospitalization if left untreated. He has shed 45 pounds in three months by following the program’s nutritional guidelines and by counting carbohydrates.
“My doctor says if I continue to do well in the next three months, he’ll take me off of medication,” Bass said. “I owe it all to the diabetes program.”
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