Experts in Diabetes Management

Whether you've had diabetes for a long time or are newly diagnosed, our program offers the knowledge, skills, and motivation to help you live life to the fullest.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 8.3% of the population, have diabetes. That number continues to increase, as does the diagnosis of pre-diabetes, currently estimated at 79 million individuals.

The good news is that diabetes can be controlled with a healthy diet, daily activity, and sometimes diabetes medication. Our expert staff will help you learn how to manage diabetes, reduce the risk of complications, cope with lifestyle changes, and work through any fears or problems you may encounter.

How Does Diabetes Occur?

Our bodies make the hormone insulin which helps move sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells that need the sugar for energy. When the body can't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin correctly the blood sugar level rises causing high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Common symptoms of high blood sugar are extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and sometimes infections. People with a family history of diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes (during pregnancy), obesity, little or no activity, and people of certain ethnic backgrounds (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islands) are at higher risk for developing diabetes.

The most common forms of diabetes are:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the cells in the pancreas that make insulin stop working. It's typically diagnosed during childhood or early adulthood. People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their blood glucose levels.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body can't produce enough insulin or can't use insulin (insulin resistance). Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the United States. Its prevalence is growing at an epidemic rate due to the increase in obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Take the American Diabetes Association Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment

Pre-Diabetes

Pre-diabetes exists when blood glucose levels are above normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in preventing pre-diabetes from progressing to Type 2.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational (during pregnancy) diabetes may occur during the 3rd trimester, when pregnancy hormones can increase and block insulin.

Diabetes Care Classes

The Diabetes Care Center at Chippenham Hospital is here to help you and your family understand and manage diabetes. Our expert clinicians teach both individual and small-group classes on a variety of diabetes-related topics, including:

  • The basics of diabetes
  • Monitoring blood glucose levels
  • Weight loss and achieving an active lifestyle
  • Nutrition and meal planning, including dining out
  • Diabetes and pregnancy
  • Taking insulin and other medications
  • Prevention of complications
  • Stress management

Insurance Coverage

It's the law in Virginia that most people employed in the state are covered at some level for outpatient diabetes education and blood sugar testing supplies. Check with your insurance company for details regarding your individual plan's benefits. If an authorization is required, contact your doctor's office. You will need an order from your doctor that includes a diabetes diagnosis and the doctor's signature. Diabetes education is partially covered by Medicare and Medicaid with a doctor's order.