Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands

Putting you back in control of your life

Diabetes is a unique disease—it requires a great deal of knowledge and skill to manage it successfully. Fortunately, Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands (DECM) is here to give you everything you need to live well with diabetes.

We offer classes, a support group, and individual diabetes education that will help you become an expert on your disease. There is no reason diabetes should hold you back from living life on your terms. Let our staff and educators help you reclaim your life.

Take Control of Your Diabetes...

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for many years, we have education opportunities for you. Diabetes may seem difficult to control, but through education and empowerment, you can learn what to do to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes successfully.

Health Tips
Featured Articles

Monitor your blood sugar carefully.

It’s common to check your blood sugar when you get up in the morning, before and after meals, before bed, and before other certain activities such as exercising or driving. If you’re taking insulin, this is an important step to help avoid taking too little or too much insulin.

Monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Drugs that cause your body to make more insulin can sometimes cause low blood sugar, a potentially dangerous situation you want to guard against. Be aware of your blood sugar level so you can take action if it starts to dip too low.

Join an exercise class.

A class is good because there is a leader and someone to call for emergency help, if necessary.
Work out with a friend.

A friend can be an important motivator, helping you get more out of your workouts.
Sip smarter.

The average 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 150 calories and 38 grams of carbohydrates—the equivalent of more than nine teaspoons of sugar. Replace your soda with herbal iced tea or seltzer water with just a splash of cranberry juice. Both drinks are low in calories but still refreshing and tasty.
Inform your doctor.

Make sure your doctor is aware of all medications and supplements you’re taking, even over-the-counter products. This is the best way to prevent dangerous drug interactions.

Check expiration dates of medications.

You’ll probably be refilling prescriptions and using them up fairly regularly, but periodically check expiration dates on products you've had around for a while. Be sure to discard any that are past their expiration date.

Try quick workouts.

As long as you're totaling 30 minutes of exercise each day, several brief workouts are fine.
Pick the right “white” bread.

White flour is usually made by refining (whole) red wheat. The process strips away the germ and the reddish bran—as well as most of the grain’s minerals and fiber. If you prefer the taste and look of refined flour, there’s good news: many brands now offer loaves made from a milder-tasting white whole-wheat flour. Look for products labeled “white whole wheat” or check the ingredients list.

Visually inspect your insulin.

If you see any cloudiness or crystals in your insulin, don’t use it.

Store insulin safely.

Insulin must be kept cool but not frozen. That means, if you’re going to be outdoors or on the road with your insulin, you’ll need a small cooler or cold pack to keep it within the desired temperature range. You can keep a bottle at room temperature for one month, but it should be kept in the refrigerator if you want to use it beyond then. For your own comfort, allow insulin to warm up to room temperature before injecting it.

Limit or avoid alcohol when taking medications.

Many diabetes medications don’t mix well with alcohol.

Follow your doctor’s instructions accurately.

Your doctor will tell you what medication dose to take, when to take it, and how to take it. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of taking a prescribed medication, call your doctor.
Learn to love whole grains—gradually.

You may know the benefits of eating whole-grain products (more vitamins, minerals, and fiber) but find it too hard to make the switch from your old refined favorites. Phase in a whole grain by mixing it half-and-half with a refined one—for example, a blend of whole-wheat and regular pasta or brown and white rice. Gradually increase the proportions until your palate—and digestive tract—adjust.

Get all needed blood tests.

Your doctor will want to see blood sugar tests from a lab at least quarterly and might require other blood tests, such as tests of your liver function, to make sure your medications are working well without doing any damage. These are important appointments to keep.

Focus on overall activity.

You don’t have to work hard to gain the health benefits of physical activity. Try walking or taking the stairs to increase your number of steps each day.

Store medications safely.

Most medications do best in a cool, dark place or at room temperature.

Check expiration dates of insulin.

Do not use expired insulin products.

Exercise: set specific, attainable goals.

For example, you might set a goal of walking ten minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Consume proper proportions.

It’s no fun to whip out a measuring cup every time you eat. So how can you dish up a meal that’s balanced and just the right size? Try this trick: Divide your dinner plate. Fill one half with vegetables, and split the other half into two quarters. Fill one quarter with a lean protein such as fish, skinless poultry, beans, or tofu. Fill the other quarter with a grain or starch-based side dish—preferably a whole-grain food such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or a slice of whole-grain bread.