Diabetes education in Greater Charleston, SC

At Trident Health System, our diabetes self-management program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Diabetes management establishes and coordinates the program's clinical teaching and learning aspects, with assistance from the medical director, for patients and their families. The Certification Board of Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE) recognizes our program and ensures the continued delivery of high-quality care for all patients.

To find out more about diabetes education or schedule an appointment, call (843) 847-5000.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of conditions where the body has problems producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the processing of blood glucose (sugar) and controls sugar levels in the blood.

People have problems managing their blood glucose levels, which leads to many health problems. Our diabetes team helps patients manage their condition through diabetes education, including lifestyle changes and exercise in addition to medication.

Types of diabetes we treat

Our experts develop treatment plans by type of diabetes. We can treat:

  • Gestational diabetes: Women develop this form of diabetes while pregnant, usually in their third trimester. High blood sugar levels contribute to a high-risk pregnancy, increasing monitoring and care for mother and baby.
  • Prediabetes: People with prediabetes have high blood sugar levels but their levels are not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes develops in adults and children. Lifestyle changes, education and some medications help prevent prediabetes from becoming fully-developed diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes: Often diagnosed in children and young adults, Type 1 diabetes results when the pancreas cannot produce insulin and patients have the condition for life. The result is dangerously high levels of blood glucose. Doctors treat the condition with medication, usually by insulin injection.
  • Type 2 diabetes: This condition affects the body's ability to use insulin properly. Potentially, patients may stop producing insulin altogether. The condition usually develops in adults, and some children may develop the condition. Doctors treat Type 2 with medication, education and lifestyle changes. Bariatric surgery may be recommended for obese patients with this type of diabetes.

Diabetes risk factors

Several factors increase the risk of developing diabetes. They include:

  • Type 1 diabetes
    • Age. This type of diabetes starts in childhood or as a young adult.
    • Family History. Having a parent with Type 1 diabetes makes you more prone to diabetes.
    • Infections. Some infections, mostly rare, damage the pancreas and affects insulin production.
  • Type 2 diabetes
    • Age. Risk increases for people 45 years and older.
    • Weight. Being overweight or obese increases diabetes risk.
    • Ethnic group. Members of African-American, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander and Asian-American groups are more likely to have this form of diabetes.
    • Chronic conditions. People with high cholesterol, depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or high blood pressure are prone to the condition.
    • Diet
    • Family history
    • Insulin resistance
    • Physical inactivity
  • Gestational diabetes
    • Age (Risk increases for women 25 years old and older.)
    • Weight
    • Pregnant with multiples (like twins, triplets or quadruplets)
    • Family history
    • Gestational diabetes history (Had a prior pregnancy with the condition.)
    • Glucocorticoids (Taking glucocorticoids or steroid hormones increases risk.)

Diabetes education classes we offer

Learning how to manage diabetes is an important part of ongoing treatment. Our experts offer a range of courses, techniques and diet approaches to diabetes management.

Self-management education

A feature of our ADA-recognized program is our Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. These specialists are trained registered nurses and registered dietitians who act as liaisons between the hospital, physicians, patients and their families.

Diabetes self-management helps patients avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and prevents some acute and chronic complications. In individual and group sessions, patients learn self-care behaviors, lifestyle changes and goal-setting guidelines. For more information about our classes, call (843) 847-5000.

Some of the topics include:

  • Diabetes complications
  • Diabetes risk factors
  • Exercise
  • Healthy coping
  • Meal planning
  • Medications and diabetes complications
  • Monitoring and testing blood sugars
  • Overview and basics of diabetes
  • Sick day management
  • Stress management

Gestational diabetes care

All gestational diabetes patients are considered high-risk pregnancy patients. As a result, our diabetes specialists involve obstetrics experts. In our one-hour diabetes education classes at Trident Medical Center, expecting mothers get a needs assessment, information on self-care and learn:

  • What gestational diabetes is and its risk factors
  • Gestational diabetes management
  • How to take and manage medication, if needed
  • How to recognize the signs of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia and other diabetes complications

Free diabetes support group

You may find that you manage your condition better with support. We offer a one-hour class every first Monday of the month at Trident Medical Center, in Classroom A, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. This class is offered free to the public.

Every month, a guest speaker will discuss a particular diabetes topic. No meetings are held in January, July, or September due to the holidays.