Living Well with Diabetes is Within Reach

Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke and can be attributed to many other health conditions, including blindness, therefore it’s important to stay out in front of it by getting checked early. According to the American Diabetes Association, everyone should be screened for diabetes at three-year intervals beginning at age 45, especially people who are overweight or obese. If other risk factors are present, screening should be done earlier and more often. Learn about the different types of diabetes here.

An honest and open communication with your primary care physician will be a great asset in managing your diabetes and discussing risk factors. Use MedStar St. Mary's Find a Doctor search tool to locate a primary care physician near you.

Managing Your Diabetes: Before Your Visit

  • Be sure to take your blood sugar (or glucose) monitor and/or records of your blood glucose readings to your appointment. Your doctor can help you troubleshoot high or low results.
  • Write a list of symptoms or concerns you want to discuss
  • Ask the following:
    • How often should I check my blood glucose?
    • What is my target range for blood glucose readings, blood pressure and cholesterol?
    • Should I make any adjustments to my lifestyle (food, exercise, medications) to improve my blood glucose control?

During your visit, pay attention to your measured blood pressure: if it is high, your risk for stroke, heart attack, eye problems, and kidney disease increases. Your physician can help you set up a self-care plan to lower your blood pressure levels.

Preventing complications is part of managing your diabetes. Be sure to discuss the following with your physician and schedule the following at least once each year:

  • A cholesterol blood test
  • A microalbumin test, which measures kidney function
  • An eye exam performed by an eye doctor
  • A flu shot

At MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, our teams of primary care physicians work closely with our endocrinologists on your behalf. We partner with you and work together to ensure your diabetes is managed as carefully and efficiently as possible.

Diabetes Self-Management & Education 

The diabetes self-management classes at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital help individuals with diabetes take control of their disease. Our program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association and covers 10 areas of diabetes management from medications to emotions to daily activity to help individuals live better lives. Individuals interested in classes or nutrition counseling for diabetes can call 301-475-6019 for more information. These services do require an order from your physician.

Our certified diabetes educators also offer monthly diabetes support groups for children and adolescents and for individuals with type 2 diabetes. They work closely with diabetic students at Great Mills High School and are available to speak at community events. A free educational class is offered on a quarterly basis to all individuals that have completed the diabetes self-management classes. 

Our diabetes education program, which is recognized by the American Diabetes Association, covers all you need to know about living with diabetes, including:

  • Treatment options
  • Meal planning (involves the person who shops and cooks for you)
  • Activity and exercise
  • Medications
  • Monitoring (we can assist you in getting a glucometer and show you how your insurance company can help pay for your supplies)
  • High and low blood sugar
  • Chronic complications, detection, treatment and prevention
  • Goal setting and problem-solving for daily living
  • Coping and resources
  • Insulin pump use education

Diabetes Classes & Programs

  • Diabetes Self-Management
    Take the mystery out of diabetic meal planning, monitoring, treatment options and day-to-day coping with diabetes. For more information about our American Diabetes Association Recognized Education Center, call 301-475-6019. A physician's order is required.
  • Keeping Current: Diabetes Education
    Come and learn more about living with diabetes. An "ask the educator" session will follow the presentation. This class is free and open to the public; registration is required. Please call 301-475-6019 to reserve your seat.
  • Diabetes Support Group
    Come and meet others with diabetes and help in developing a support group that meets your needs. call 301-475-6019 for more information.

Nutrition & Exercise 

Exercising the recommended 150 minutes per week and eating more nutrient-dense, lower-calorie foods and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks can help drastically reduce your chances of developing diabetes. MedStar St. Mary's has two Registered Dietitians on staff who offer one-on-one food education sessions, including how to better understand and manage your diet, tips on shopping at the supermarket or cooking at home, and resources for ingredient-specific recipes and products. Individuals must present a referral from your allergist or primary care physician.

Making lifestyle changes and learning how to eat well is important for controlling many medical conditions. We can help with many conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High Triglycerides
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Nutrition in pregnancy
  • Nutrition and wellness for all ages

Initial and follow up visits are recommended. We encourage family/support persons to attend. 

Body Composition Analysis

Ready to start that new fitness plan or want to measure the progress of your current fitness routine? Analysis includes measurements, and an in-depth look at body composition.
Cost: $15

Diabetes Education Program

MedStar Diabetes Institute at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital offers a diabetes education program recognized by the American Diabetes Association. Learn more about simple changes to help prevent diabetes and
healthy habits for those living with the disease by signing up for one of our community classes.

Request an Appointment

Phone: 301-475-6019
Physician referral is required