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What is diabetes?

Diabetes can be confusing and challenging, especially at first, but this course will give you the tools to take charge. As you may know, diabetes is a serious disease in which the body cannot use insulin effectively or make enough. The problems that can arise from this are referred to as complications. However, complications do not have to happen. Through WVU Extension’s Dining with Diabetes program, you can learn about different medical tests that are important for managing diabetes and what the results of those tests mean.

Managing diabetes

We’ll talk about what it means to eat well with diabetes. Food is for nourishing our bodies, but it should also be for enjoyment. In Dining with Diabetes course, we will talk about carbohydrates, sweeteners and healthy fats, and we will demonstrate some recipes that use familiar foods made just a little bit healthier and diabetes-friendly.

Physical activity is one of the most important things we can do to manage diabetes, prevent other diseases and stay strong and independent as we age. Each week, we will spend a little time practicing some ways to stay active. The recommendation for adults to maintain health is to be moderately active for 30 minutes per day—and more is better. That activity does not need to be done all at once to maintain health. You can be active for 10 minutes at a time as long as it adds up to 30 minutes or more over the course of the day.

We will talk about other things that are important to successfully manage diabetes and you will have opportunities to interact with the instructor and other members of the class to ask questions, share tips and support each other as we take charge of our health.

Diabetes can come with fear, frustrations and worries. However, we can live well with diabetes. Dining with Diabetes will help you develop goals for your medical care and self-management and provide you with tools to meet your goals.

How to take a Dining with Diabetes class

Classes are held in locations that are accessible and convenient in each county. Churches, schools, vocational-technical centers and hospitals have been hosts to Dining with Diabetes.

Extension Educators try to schedule classes at the best times for people in their county. Classes are usually held in spring or fall. The day of the week and the time of day may vary from county to county. Observers are always welcome at Dining with Diabetes programs. Please contact your local county Extension office to inquire about locations, times and dates.

Who can participate?
  • People with diabetes and their family members, caregivers, and support persons can enroll in Dining with Diabetes.
  • Attendance is limited to 50 persons at each school.
  • There is no charge to enroll, however you must plan to attend all three sessions and a “Class Reunion” when you enroll.
  • Dining with Diabetes programs are organized by county Extension Offices. Contact your local county Extension office to find out when the next Dining with Diabetes class will be offered in your area.

Diabetes Symposium Conference

This conference explores the challenges and opportunities associated with providing education and support to individuals with diabetes and their families. This nationally renowned conference is specifically designed for health educators, professional clinicians, and others who help individuals with diabetes and those who care for them to better understand, cope and develop strategies for successfully living with diabetes. To learn more, visit the Diabetes Symposium information in the event section.

Cindy Fitch, WVU Extension Service associate dean of programs and research, coordinates and heads the development of this highly successful conference and planning team. To learn more, contact Cindy Fitch.