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Diabetes Classes

Diabetes Self Management Education and Support (DSMES)

The Diabetes Self Management Education and Support (DSMES) Program is an outpatient program designed for adults with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

UofL Health Diabetes and Nutrition Care program has Diabetes Educators who work with people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a self-manageable disease and the classes are designed to help you understand your disease, control your symptoms, and minimize any long term complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, blindness, kidney disease, and/or amputations.

Our Diabetes and Nutrition Care program provides comprehensive diabetes self management training group classes every week at all of our different locations. The classes focus on the four M’s of diabetes care.


The Four M's of Diabetes Care

Meal Planning

Each week you will be given research based dietary education by one of our RDs. We know that one of the first things people start wondering is, "What can I eat?" Living with diabetes doesn't have to mean feeling deprived. We'll help you learn to balance your meals and make the healthiest food choices. There are so many fad diet recommendations and even some from well intentioned medical practitioners. Therefore, during classes we educate patients about:

  • All foods that are high in carbohydrate (the bad and good ones)
  • How to read the food labels
  • Educate about how to count carbohydrates
  • Provide sample meal plans
  • Review eating out guidelines
  • Discuss heart healthy eating tips

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help manage type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes—and you don't even need a prescription for it. But what specific benefits does exercise have for people with diabetes?

One of the most important benefits of exercise for diabetes is that exercise can help manage your blood glucose levels—even hours after you've stopped exercising. Another significant benefit of exercising with diabetes is that it builds muscle. Muscles are the tissues in your body that use the most glucose, and they can help keep blood glucose levels from soaring.

Below are a few of the benefits of exercise for people with diabetes:

  • Causes your body to be more insulin sensitive
  • Lower’s you after meal blood sugar level
  • Decreases blood pressure and increases good (HDL) cholesterol and reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol
  • Enhances your energy and mood
  • Helps you lose weight and maintain your weight
  • Lowers your overall body fat
  • Promotes relaxation by reducing stress, tension, and anxiety
  • Reduces risk of diabetes complications, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure

People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin. Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their diabetes with healthy eating and exercise. However, your doctor may need to also prescribe oral medications (pills) and/or insulin to help you meet your target blood glucose levels. Everyone with diabetes needs to choose foods wisely and be physically active. The kind of medicine you take depends on your type of diabetes, your schedule, and your other health conditions. Diabetes medicines help keep your blood sugar level within your target range to prevent long term damage.


During class we discuss the blood sugar goals established by the American Diabetes Association for home monitoring. We educate you on the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of high and low blood sugar. (send to resource page on hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia) Patients can also bring their blood sugar meter for demonstration on how to use it. We also encourage patients to monitor for patterns related to when they eat and try to discover what foods high in carbohydrate cause their blood sugar levels to go up.

Physician Referrals

A physician referral is required for all nutrition services to aid with billing coverage. Download a referral form to take to your physician. For additional information, please contact our office at 502-210-4203.