Diabetes education and management in Denver

The diabetes specialists at the Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Diabetes Management Center is here to help you learn everything you can about diabetes and understand the risks associated with the disease. Our goal is to help you effectively manage your diabetes, so you can continue to enjoy an active and satisfying lifestyle.

Patient-centered team approach

Under the supervision of your physician, a team of experts consisting of Certified Diabetes Educators provides the latest in diabetes treatment. Additionally, we encourage patients to bring a support person, such as a friend or family member, to class. The Diabetes Management Center works closely with the entire support network to provide an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance for everyone with diabetes, their families and others responsible for their care.

Recognition

The American Diabetes Association has awarded recognition to our diabetes self-management education program by following the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.

Symptoms of diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association®, diabetes symptoms vary depending on the type you may have. Specifically, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, have no or unnoticeable symptoms, whereas other types of diabetes may have the following signs:

  • Persistent thirst
  • Constant hunger
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Hazy vision
  • Slow or non-healing wounds

Type 1 diabetics may experience weight loss, despite eating habits, and Type 2 diabetics may experience numbness, tingling or pain in hands or feet.

Diabetes education

Diabetes education helps patients by:

  • Encouraging independence through diabetes self-management treatment
  • Empowering patients to understand their diabetes diagnosis and take control of their diabetes
  • Helping patients to track critical numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol and HbA1c
  • Teaching the importance of eating a healthy diet, being active, taking medication as prescribed, controlling weight and checking blood sugar levels

Diabetes self-management education and support

We are committed to providing the highest quality of diabetes self-management education based on the American Diabetes Association Education recognition standards. To register for a class, you must contact the Diabetes Management Center and let the scheduler know which class you need to attend. Cost for these classes will vary depending on your insurance provider, co-pay and deductible

We offer the following classes at the Diabetes Management Center:

  • New Diagnosis for Type 1 Diabetes—This class is a series of individualized sessions with a certified diabetes educator.
  • New Diagnosis for Type 2 Diabetes—This is a four-class series that is geared newly diagnosed patients who never had diabetes education. A nurse (and/or dietician as needed) teaches this two-hour class based on your assessment.
  • Insulin Pump Therapy—This class meets based on individual needs. The first class includes an initial consultation and demonstration.
  • Insulin Management—You can start taking insulin for the first time or make adjustments to the insulin you are already taking in this class. Our diabetes team will recommend an insulin adjustment and will discuss it with your physician before changes are made.
  • Continuous Self-Blood Glucose Monitoring—In this two-hour procedure a certified diabetes educator will connect the monitor device on your first visit. A second visit is scheduled a week later to remove the device and download the results.
  • Gestational Diabetes—This one-time, two-hour course includes instruction on monitoring your blood sugars, diet and medications. One follow-up visit is completed to ensure you understand the material.
  • Tune Up—For individuals who need a review of their self-management skills, you can schedule an appointment with a nurse or dietitian.
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy—If you would like assistance with meal planning, you can schedule an appointment with a dietitian.

Contact us Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or Friday from 8:00 a.m. until noon to schedule your appointment.

 Diabetes FAQ

What is Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness that typically develops before the age of 30 but can develop at any age. In a person with Type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Your body needs insulin to break down the carbohydrates that the body uses for energy. About 10 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes.

Is there a cure for Type 1 diabetes?

Currently, there is no cure. However, it can be treated successfully by taking insulin. Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps have made it easier for people to manage their type 1 diabetes.

Should I follow a gluten-free diet if I’ve been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes?

The only people who benefit from a gluten-free diet are those who have celiac disease or gluten Celiac disease is more common among people with Type 1 diabetes, but it is still a small percentage of people.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body develops insulin resistance. The primary risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are obesity and lack of exercise, as well as family history and genes. Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90 percent of diabetes cases.

Can I reverse my Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed or in remission, if a person increases their physical activity, carefully monitors what they eat and loses weight (if not already at normal weight). Reversal or remission of Type 2 diabetes is defined as having normal blood sugars without taking any diabetes medications. It can be difficult to achieve this without some assistance. It is also important to note that Type 2 diabetes is progressive. This means that even if you are doing everything right, Type 2 diabetes could return as you age.

How many carbohydrates can I eat a day with Type 2 diabetes?

This depends on your height and weight, your blood glucose, and whether or not you are trying to lose weight. Our diabetes clinicians can work with you to create an individualized meal plan.

What is a healthy eating guideline for a person with Type 2 diabetes?

  • Choose fewer processed foods and eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Eat at least twice a day and only when you are hungry.
  • Stay aware of your portion sizes and choose the appropriate amounts of food.

Does my insurance cover diabetes education?

In most cases, insurance does cover diabetes education. There might be limits to how many visits you can have with a diabetes educator. If you want to come in for diabetes education, call us at (720) 754-6891, so we can give you information to share with your insurance company.

Physician referrals

As an American Diabetes Association®-recognized center for diabetes education, we invite your physician to become familiar with the services we offer. We will work closely with your doctor to assist in managing your diabetes, as well as the required steps in referring you to our facility. Encourage your doctor to call with any questions he or she may have regarding our services.