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Diabetes: 4 Steps to Better Health

General

You can tell something is wrong with your health. You haven't felt well for several weeks, sometimes more tired than usual, and always very thirsty. In fact, you may have attributed those frequent trips to the bathroom to the increasing amount of sodas you’ve been drinking each day. Eventually you make an appointment to see your health care provider.

Your health care provider may find blood sugar results that indicate you have diabetes. If so, you are joining the more than 23 million children and adults in the United States who have diabetes. Unfortunately, nearly 6 million people of those are unaware that they even have the disease.

Step 1: Check the symptoms to watch for, including: frequent urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision.

Step 2: If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your health care provider right away. You can also visit the American Diabetes Association Web site at www.ada.org to take an online test to find out your diabetes risk.

Step 3: Ask your health care provider to write a prescription for you to attend Tillamook County General Hospital's Better Living with Diabetes classes. A physician's referral and a call to scheduling at (503)-815-2292 or 503-368-6544 ext 2292 from North Tillamook County will get you started. Many insurance companies cover the cost of the course. If financial assistance is needed, the scheduling staff will connect you with a financial counselor who can help you.

The next course will be held January 7-28, 2010, in Tillamook. A 1-hour personal nutritional consultation with a dietitian is followed by 10 hours of classroom time. One recent participant shared, "Coming to the class I was really scared about my future, but all the teachers made me feel there was hope…What I learned changed my life! Everyone with diabetes should take this class!"

Step 4: Follow the plan made with your health care team to take control of your diabetes as early as possible. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by your diabetes, break that mind-set and realize you truly can live successfully with diabetes.

For more information about resources for living successfully with diabetes, call (503)-815-2429 or (503)-368-6544 ext 2429 from North Tillamook County. The American Diabetes Association recognizes Tillamook County General Hospital’s diabetes education program as meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education. The hospital has been a nationally certified diabetes education provider since 2008.