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Diabetes Education

Our Wellness Program

Diabetes Management & Supplies is a distributor of medical equipment and diabetes education based in New Orleans, LA. We have been distributing supplies for 23 years! In 2012, we introduced another level of service by adding our American Association of Diabetes Educators’ Accredited Comprehensive Diabetes Education Program. We have dietitians and educators available to provide self-management knowledge and skills to your employees.

Wellness programs and the management of employee health is on the cutting edge of the services, programs and processes that companies are utilizing to decrease the higher costs of healthcare and generally better the health status of their workers. Several studies have recognized that a healthy worker population with engaged employees in wellness activities has improved productivity and reduced absenteeism.

A first step is to recognize the importance of establishing a culture of health and wellness within your company. This wellness culture develops from upper management levels to the line workers with the offering of education, health and fitness activities or challenges and incentives to engage the multi generational employees of your company.

DMS is able to offer Diabetes Education and disease state management programs to assist you in developing this corporate culture. Our education programs can assist your Human Resource teams in managing those employees with pre-diabetes and diabetes or who are at risk for the complications of cardiovascular or renal disease.  Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two chronic illnesses that reflect the greatest cost expenditures of companies in the last several years and both diseases have personal habits and environmental factors that can worsen these health conditions.

We can provide a comprehensive education program on diabetes self-management classes on nutrition, individualized dietary consults, classes for obesity and pre-diabetes, and worksite programs for the employer and employees caring for the individual worker who has diabetes. Our program provides tracking of clinical outcome measures of A1C, blood pressure, and weight management.  We can track and trend outcome measures of hospitalization days, emergency room visits and self-care visits for vaccinations and both eye and foot exams. Wellness program development can be customized to meet the individualized needs of your company.

Diabetes Self-Management Education & Training

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, our experts specialize in helping patients learn to effectively self-manage their diabetes and live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle with diabetes. The key to controlling diabetes is proper education and training. To avoid further complications of diabetes, patients must learn the skills and knowledge necessary to control this disease.

The DMS Diabetes Education Program is accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators' Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP). This accreditation means that our program meets the national standards for diabetes self-management. The program focuses on the AADE7™ Self-Care Behaviors which are:

  • Healthy eating
  • Being active
  • Monitoring
  • Taking medication
  • Problem-solving
  • Healthy coping
  • Reducing risks

Certified diabetes educators teach patients either individually and/or in small group settings. Our registered dietitians also provide medical nutrition therapy for those in need of additional and disease-specific nutritional counseling.

If you have questions or need help, or would like to get started with our education program, enter your information in the form below and we will get back to you shortly. 

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Visit our About Us page to learn more about our certified diabetes educators who positively impact the lives of those living with diabetes.

Get to Know Our Staff

Self-Care Behaviors

Practicing healthy self-care behaviors can make a world of difference in managing your diabetes. These behaviors not only lead to a healthier life but also a more fulfilling and safer one. Managing your diabetes and keeping it under control can help prevent further complications and the development of more serious issues related to the disease. Read about the self-care behaviors below or contact our team to see how you can get started with our program.

Contact Our Team

Healthy Eating

While healthy eating is one of the key components of managing your diabetes, it doesn't have to mean giving up your favorite foods or going out to eat with friends and family. While you can eat everything, you need to be knowledgeable about the foods that affect your blood sugar, also known as blood glucose levels. To prevent further health problems, you should always keep in mind how much you are eating and make healthy choices that can help keep your diabetes under control.

Each healthy meal plan should include:

  • Complex carbohydrates - Whole grain bread, oatmeal, potatoes, brown or wild rice
  • Fiber - Beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Protein - Fish, chicken or turkey (without skin), eggs or egg whites, Select or Choice grades of beef trimmed of fat
  • Lots of vegetables - Especially green, leafy ones
  • Limited amounts of heart-healthy fats - Olive, peanut or canola oil, walnuts, almonds and flaxseed

Part of eating healthy is understanding food and how to portion appropriately as well as reading food labels and understanding what ingredients are there. Our diabetes education specialists can help you learn to:

  • Count carbohydrates - Carbs are in foods like breads, pastas, fruits, dairy products and sugary food such as desserts. Complex carbs, like whole-grain bread, offer more nutrition than others and are a better alternative to regular carbs.
  • Read and understand food labels - Food labels provide the details you need to know to determine how healthy or unhealthy the food you are looking at is. Our specialists help you know what to look for, to understand what certain ingredients are and what they mean and to look for foods with three or more grams of fiber per serving. We will also advise you to avoid saturated and trans fats! 
  • Measure your servings - Our education specialist will teach you how to measure your food so you are eating healthy portions as it is very easy to overeat or eat more than you planned without realizing it.
  • Create a healthy meal plan - Now that you know what healthy food is recommended and how much of it you should consume, we'll work together with you to create a healthy eating plan and see what works best for you. Whether you want to plan out a full week or just talk about how to plan each meal you eat—we're here to help.
  • Maintain the right level of blood sugar - Having too high or too low of blood sugar can make you feel sick. When your blood sugar is too high, this means your diabetes is out of control and you may experience blurry vision, headaches or tiredness. When it's too low, you may feel shaky, sweaty, weak, light-headed or have a fast heartbeat.
  • Set healthy eating goals - When you team up with our diabetes education specialist, they're here to help you make these changes without feeling too overwhelmed. We'll set realistic goals with you and work to incorporate goals that fit your lifestyle and develop a plan to reach them!

To get more information, contact us today to speak to our diabetes education specialist. If you're looking for healthy eating recipes, check out our recipe book for plenty of delicious, healthy options.

View Our Recipe Book

Being Active

Another important part of practicing healthy self-care behaviors is exercise. Being active does more than just help you lose weight, it can strengthen your muscles and bones and make you feel better. Being active:

  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Lowers stress and anxiety
  • Improves mood

Sometimes starting to exercise can be daunting if you've never been very active before. We're here to provide you with the health and tips to get started and keep up with your routine. Exercise can take on a variety of forms such as:

  • Walking the dog and playing fetch with them
  • Working on your garden at home
  • Cleaning your house or doing household chores
  • Lifting weights, marching in place or walking around your home while watching TV
  • Walking during your lunch hour at work
  • Exercising in your work chair
  • Taking the stairs
  • Going dancing
  • Doing tai chi or yoga
  • Parking far away from the door

Developing your activity plan means choosing activities that sound fun to you. Start by thinking about what you like to do, so you're more likely to want to keep doing it. Remember to take it slow when you are starting out - just five to ten minutes of activity can make a difference and help you move up to 30 minutes at a time, five days a week. Don't overdo it - as a general guideline - you should be able to talk while exercising but not sing. Make sure you are checking blood sugar levels before and after to confirm what you are doing with your exercise is helping and keep track of it so you can see your progress and be motivated by it.

Sometimes bringing along a friend to exercise with or taking a class can encourage you to keep exercising and engaging in activities that are fun and fulfilling for you. You can also join an adult league for your favorite sport and change things up to keep them interesting. Our diabetes educators are here to help you develop your plan and provide support throughout your journey.

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

Measuring your blood sugar and keeping the level on target is essential to preventing further complications and serious problems with your eyes, kidneys, hands and feet. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle through good food, exercise, monitoring and taking your medication as prescribed, these complications can be avoided. With regular monitoring, you can find out if your blood sugar is too high or too low so that you can get it on track again. To self-monitor, you'll need a lancet, which is a thin needle that collects a tiny amount of blood, test strips, which are small pieces of paper that you put the blood on, a meter (glucometer), that reads the test trips and reports blood sugar levels and lastly, a logbook to record those blood sugar levels from your meter.

The frequency of your monitoring is dependent on several factors including what type of diabetes you have, whether you take oral medication or insulin and more. You may need to monitor anywhere from only a few times a week or up to three times per day. Blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day, depending on how recently you have eaten and how much exercise you've gotten. It takes about two hours after eating for monitoring to reflect an accurate blood sugar level. If you are new to monitoring or just need help, our team is here. We can assist you with:

  • Learning how to use your glucometer and tips on when it's best and easiest to monitor
  • Knowing when to check your blood sugar and what all the numbers mean
  • Knowing what to do if your numbers are offer target
  • Learning how to record your results and keep track of them over time

Get in touch with us today to start your journey toward a healthier life!

Taking Medication

Taking your medication is one of the keys to keeping your blood sugar levels steady and on target. Having diabetes can increase your risk of other health conditions and further complications, like heart or kidney-related problems. Medications you may need to take are:

  • Insulin - Hormone that helps your body use/store food you eat for energy
  • Medications - Help your body release or use the insulin better
  • Anti-hypertensives - Lower blood pressure
  • Statins - Lower cholesterol
  • Aspirin - Lowers risk of heart attack
  • Vaccinations - Influenza and pneumonia, help you stay healthy

Remember to inform your doctor about all of the medications you are taking from over-the-counter meds, to dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs. These medications may affect each other and cause other issues or decrease their effectiveness, so make sure to let your doctor know of all the medications you are taking. 

Our team of diabetes education specialists can also help by explaining why you are taking these medications and what side effects they may cause and what to do if there are some, how they will help and how you can fit them in your schedule. It is very important that you remember to take your medications at the right time each day. Timing it with other activities such as brushing teeth or eating breakfast can help you remember to take them. If you inject insulin, rotate the sites every day from fattier parts of your upper arm to outer thighs, buttocks and abdomen. Otherwise, you may get lumps under the skin, making it harder for your body to absorb the insulin. 

Problem Solving

Our specialists can help you learn to problem solve in general or for any specific issues you may be having. Planning ahead and maintaining your blood sugar levels is key when managing your diabetes. This can mean preplanning what you'll eat for your meals and when and what snacks and meals you will have, when to monitor your levels and when to exercise. 

When unexpected things happen, as they often do in life, your blood sugar may be affected. When this happens, you will need to know how to problem-solve and how to prevent it from happening again. With our help, you will know how to make the necessary adjustments. With problem-solving, you go through a cycle of: act, analyze and evaluate, discuss solutions and learn from experience.

Here are some tips:

  • Things happen. Don't get down on yourself - this process is not meant to be perfect!
  • Think about your day and what was different about it - what stressed you out, were you traveling or sick? Did something change in your routine or were you more or less active than usual? How did your eating habits change?
  • Learn from this experience - figure out how to correct the problem in a way that works best for you and apply that to similar situations in the future - carry an extra snack, think about adding more activity to your day, how you can ease stress and so on.
  • Discuss solutions with your diabetes educator, doctor or support group.
  • Try the new solutions and see if they work out for you.

Contact our team today to get in touch with one of our diabetes educators. We're here to help.

Healthy Coping

Life is filled with all kinds of stress - big and small. When you add managing your diabetes into that equation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with stress and not turn to more harmful ones, such as smoking, drinking, overeating and more. This stress can really raise your blood sugar levels. Our specialists are here to help you learn ways to healthily cope with your stress and provide tips for it such as:

  • Being active
  • Participating in faith-based activities or meditating
  • Pursuing hobbies
  • Attending support groups

It's important to have a group of people you can turn to when you feel stressed. Build and maintain healthy relationships with your spouse, loved ones and friends. Reach out to them when you are stressed and meet other people with diabetes so you know you are not alone. Remember that activity can have a positive impact on both the state of your blood sugar levels but also on your mental health as well. In that vein, thinking positively can make a world of difference. Thinking about and celebrating your successes can help you make it through difficult times and remind you that you are doing better than you think. Think about activities, people, things in your life that make it enjoyable! Lastly, be good to yourself. If you fall short of a goal, don't beat yourself up over it. Do the best you can and look toward the future.

Sometimes this stress or sadness doesn't go away. It can be a sign of something bigger. Talk to your diabetes education specialist who can discuss signs with you that you may have depression, including:

  • Lack of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Isolating yourself and not wanting to talk to friends and family about your diabetes or other stresses
  • Sleeping most of the day
  • Not seeing the point in taking care of yourself
  • Feeling as though diabetes is defeating you or you can't take care of yourself

The most important thing to realize is that help is available. Your diabetes educator, doctor, friends, family and support group are there for you and can help you cope.

Reducing Risks

Having your diabetes under control - keeping your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure in check - can lower your risk for other health conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, damage to kidneys and nerves, loss of vision and more. 

Here are some ways to reduce potential risks:

  • Don't smoke - Smoking raises your blood sugar and also weakens your body's ability to use and respond to insulin. It can make vision issues develop faster and harm your lungs and heart. Our specialists can help you quit smoking.
  • Visit your doctor regularly - You should visit your doctor about every three months, unless instructed otherwise. Your doctor will check your weight, blood pressure, feet and eyes. They may also do regular tests to check kidneys, cholesterol levels and A1C (average blood sugar control over the last 2-3 months). Remember to get your flu shot every year too.
  • Visit the eye doctor at least once a year - It is important to see your eye doctor as well to ensure there are no problems with your eyes and who can help prevent them. Inform the doctor of your diabetes and ensure the exam includes dilating your pupils.
  • Don't forget the dentist - Diabetes can leave you at a higher risk of cavities and gum disease. Visit your dentist every six months and remember to floss and brush regularly.
  • Take care of your feet - Keeping your feet dry and clean is important as well when you have diabetes. Avoid shoes that are too tight or rub against your feet, as that can cause sores. Check your feet every day for sores and if you find any, inform your doctor immediately.
  • Listen to your body - If something just doesn't feel right, get in touch with your doctor to figure out what could be wrong and if there is something, what you should do about it.

To get more information or for help and support, please reach out to our diabetes education specialists. Get started by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call locally at 1-504-734-7165 or toll-free at 1-888-738-7929.

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