(KUTV) November is diabetes awareness month, and for many struggling with the disease, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Group support can actually help those with diabetes manage the disease.
A few years ago, Heber Valley Hospital, the Wasatch County Health Department, and Utah State University Extension joined together to bring education and support to those dealing with diabetes.
“We started with an experiment of doing a class. It worked out so well that we turned it into a support group, says Betty Wade, Certified Diabetes Educator and Clinical Dietitian at Heber Valley Hospital.
Janet Norton joined the group for both her son and herself.
“I really got into it because my son who is diabetic and on dialysis now, and it’s kind of in the family and so I’m considered prediabetic right now,” says Janet.
The group focuses on diet and how it relates to diabetes while also answering questions about everything disease related. They bring in different diabetes experts such as pharmacists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, and nephrologists.
“Just knowing and understanding what diabetes can do to you helps you make decisions as to what to do,” says Janet.
One of the most beneficial parts of the diabetes support group is just that, the support. Group participants can talk with each other and get support from those going through the same things as them. They share their experiences – both good and bad, discuss different strategies that have helped, and swap their favorite recipes with one another.
“It’s just nice knowing that you’re not alone,” says Janet.
Janet says the support has helped her change her eating habits, make better lifestyle choices, and even lose weight.
The group meets at the Wasatch County Health Department on the fourth Wednesday of every month. It’s open to anyone who wants to join, starts at 6 p.m., and lasts about an hour.