The Daviess County Diabetes Coalition will again hold monthly diabetes awareness and support group meetings beginning in May.
Rian Sutherland, registered nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist, said the monthly sessions have been held for four to five years to educate individuals on how to manage diabetes.
“For many patients who end up coming, it’s more for education,” she said. “There are people who are new to diabetes or have family members with diabetes and everyone … pretty much just needs answers and struggles with the disease because obviously diabetes can be quite challenging for people.”
The main goal of the sessions, Sutherland said, is to teach individuals how to better live with diabetes and how to control blood sugar with medication and a healthy diet.
Many people, she said, are scared the first time they are diagnosed and the course will help them understand the fundamentals of the disease and hopefully learn more about how to manage the disease.
“Diabetes is a nasty, devastating disease, but complications can be completely prevented or at least minimized by properly controlling blood sugar,” she said. “If just through education … I could reduce complications related to diabetes, that would be my number one goal.”
During the group sessions, Sutherland said she would address issues such as food, how drugs work, and the progression of the disease.
Dealing with diabetes and educating people about the disease are important in saving people from complications and medical costs in the long term, she said.
Sutherland said it is also important to stay up to date with educational materials related to diabetes each year and for more information after attending the group sessions.
“This opens that door to at least give them the basics,” she said. “I want you to continue your education with a diabetes advisor who actually bills your insurance.”
While the meetings are currently practically taking place with the next meeting on April 15, the meetings will again be held in person from May 29, according to Sutherland, provided that COVID-19 cases in the region continue to decline.
Everyone present is asked to wear a mask and social distance.