When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, many concerns arise about its impact on your life. You may have nagging questions about what you can eat. You may need to change current daily habits or wonder about the future. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Support is available right here in McDowell County.
The Diabetes Center at McDowell Hospital is open to children and adults diagnosed with any type of diabetes. We’ll help you lead a full and active life by showing you how to take charge of your health. We use a step-by-step approach to be sure you have—and understand—all the information you need. We then teach you how to use the information to keep your blood sugar under control. We have experienced staff and a program certified by the American Diabetes Association…ready to work together with you.
Why is Diabetes Management So Important?
Blood sugar that is too high for too long damages nerves and blood vessels. Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and may result in blindness, amputation or even death. Diabetes management keeps blood sugar within a specific range, which slows down, and may prevent, diabetes-related health problems.
You need a physician’s referral to enter our programs. However, please call 828-659-5157 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Diabetes Center.
McDowell Hospital’s diabetes management programs are designed to meet each person’s unique needs. We begin with a one-on-one consultation to talk about your concerns and assess your needs. Then we provide education and support in an environment that works best for you.
- Individual consultation: This one-time visit focuses on your specific needs for self-care, such as diet, nutrition, exercise, foot care, medication, learning to check your blood sugar, and weight management.
- Individual nutrition consultation: You will meet one on one with a Registered Dietitian to develop an eating plan for your diabetes that takes into consideration your lifestyle and special nutrition needs.
- Diabetes self-care course: Group classes cover the primary things you need to know to manage diabetes, including learning about what makes blood sugar rise and fall, how best to keep blood sugar under control, eating for health, the benefits of exercise, learning how to monitor blood sugar, medication issues, weight management, and learning how to reduce the risks of diabetes-related health issues.
- Gestational diabetes consultation: For pregnant women diagnosed with diabetes, this consultation includes an overview of gestational diabetes, instructions on how to monitor your blood sugar levels, and meal planning tips for balanced nutrition.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes: This used to be called juvenile diabetes, because it’s usually first diagnosed in children or teens. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes the insulin needed to transport sugar from the blood into the cells to be used for energy.
Type 2 diabetes: The most common type of diabetes, type 2 used to be called adult-onset diabetes but it can develop at any age, including during childhood. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but because the body doesn’t use it properly, too much glucose remains in the blood.
Gestational diabetes: This type of diabetes first occurs during pregnancy. It usually goes away after the baby is born, but it requires diligent management to ensure both mother and baby remain healthy.
Pre-diabetes: It’s not a type of diabetes, but you may be diagnosed with pre-diabetes if your blood glucose is higher than normal yet not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. During this crucial period, following the same management techniques—healthy diet, exercise, normal weight—may prevent this condition from becoming diabetes.
Proper management of diabetes encompasses different aspects of your life. Our team includes trained professionals for each key area:
- Registered/licensed dietitians: Following a healthy diet is critical for keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. The type of food you eat has a big effect on blood sugar, but that’s just one key factor. You also need to be aware of how much you eat and when you eat it. Our dietitians provide important information about nutrition, meal planning, counting carbohydrates and a healthy diet.
- Registered nurses: Our nurses who meet with you are specially trained to work with people with diabetes. They will assist you with learning to monitor your blood glucose, the importance of regular follow up with your physician, and providing you with the tools to learn how to manage your diabetes at home.
- Pharmacists: For those needing medication as part of their diabetes management, pharmacists are available for consultation.
Appointments and Information
Please ask your doctor to refer you to our program.
If you have questions, contact us at any time using our convenient online form,  or feel free to call us at 828-659-5157 to learn more about the Diabetes Center.
Our classes are usually covered by Medicaid and Medicare, and most insurance companies cover approximately 10 hours of education and related services. However, every insurance provider is different so please contact your provider to verify coverage.
The Diabetes Center at McDowell Hospital
430 Rankin Dr.
Marion, NC 28752