Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Weight Management Center

Diabetes Education - For Patients

Learn more about our Diabetes Education Services

Need Help?

Newly diagnosed, need help picking out a meter or not sure what your insurance covers? CCS and Edgepark are companies that will help you navigate your insurance benefits, work with your doctor and send you meter supplies as needed. Print and complete the forms below. Once you submit the forms, they will help you maximize your benefits and find the best meter for you. Please bring your meter and logs with you when you come to class.

CCS - EZ Diabetes Referral Form
Edgepark - Diabetes Supply Form (pdf)

The Weight Management Center at the Methodist Diabetes & Metabolism Institute offers a Diabetes Education Program that is recognized by the American Dietetic Association. Our programs are designed to individualize a treatment plan that people with diabetes can use to self manage the disease and therefore improve their health and vitality. Learn more about our various services by clicking on each link below.

Diabetes Education Brochure (Adobe Acrobat)

Basic Diabetes Classes

All newly patients with diabetes, pre-diabetics, or those who have never attended a diabetes self management class should attend these classes. Our basic diabetes class is designed to help individuals understand diabetes and learn simple strategies that can help them gain control by introducing the Four Cornerstones of Diabetes Education: Medications, Monitoring, Diet, and Exercise. Patients will attend two 3-hour classes at a location most convenient to them. Other topics covered are glucose pattern management, foot care, preventing long term complications, weight loss, basic meal planning, an introduction to carbohydrate counting, and managing sick days and travel.

Advanced Diabetes Classes

These classes are designed for patients with diabetes who have had diabetes for some time and have a basic understanding of the self-management skills and not getting the control they need. Generally these patients are on insulin or multiple oral meds. The patient will learn how to identify blood glucose trends and troubleshoot situations that lead to out of range blood sugar readings. More emphasis will be placed on using carbohydrate counting to help with meal planning. If appropriate, the educator will calculate the patient's carb to insulin ratio and determine the patient's insulin sensitivity factor.

Gestational Diabetes Counseling

We can help your patients with gestational diabetes have a healthy pregnancy. Patients are usually seen in a small class of 2-3 people or on an individual basis. This class will help gestational diabetics learn how to check blood sugars, identify in and out of range readings, understand how pregnancy hormones, food, activity, medications, sleep, illness, and stress affect their blood sugars, and learn how to treat hypoglycemia and prevent hyperglycemia. A registered dietitian will help them to plan nutritious and well-balanced meals and snacks that optimize blood sugars and ultimately helps achieve a healthy mother and baby. Click here to view the GDM brochure.

Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Do you have patients that may benefit from utilizing insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors? Our certified diabetes educators can help train your patients on insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring, as well as, personalizing their self-management plan to gain better control and freedom with their device.

FREE Diabetes Support Group

Diabetes Support Group meetings provide a venue for patients with diabetes to ask questions, receive support, and gain motivation and knowledge. A diabetes support is ideal for individuals who have received some form of diabetes self-management instruction. The meetings are offered once a month at three different locations. To reserve your spot or to find out more, call 713-441-5975.

The Methodist Hospital - Diabetes Education 2014

Offers a Complimentary Support Group for the Community
Month Location Date Time
January Medical Center 01/22/2014 12:00 PM
February Sugar Land 02/17/2014 01:00 PM
March Willowbrook 03/18/2014 10:00 AM
April Medical Center 04/23/2014 12:00 PM
May Sugar Land 05/19/2014 01:00 PM
June Willowbrook 06/17/2014 10:00 AM
July Medical Center 07/23/2014 12:00 PM
August Sugar Land 08/18/2014 1:00 PM
September Willowbrook 09/16/2014 10:00 AM
October Medical Center 10/22/2014 12:00 PM
November Sugar Land 11/17/2014 1:00 PM
December Willowbrook 12/02/2014 10:00 AM
To reserve your spot or to find out more, call 713-441-5975.

Sugar Land Methodist Hospital
16659 Southwest Frwy Medical Office Building 2, Room 265

Medical Center, Outpatient Center
6445 Main Street, 23rd floor

Willowbrook Methodist Hospital
The Weight Management Center in the Women's & Children Pavilion
18220 Hwy 249, Room 355

Weight Loss Services

We all know how important weight loss is to the management of diabetes. Are you finding that just talking about weight loss with your patients has little effect on their success? Then allow the Weight Management Center at Houston Methodist Hospital help your patients achieve their weight loss goals and learn to maintain their new healthy weight. The Weight Management Center has more than 25 years of experience helping individuals to lose weight and keep it off. Click here to learn more about our weight loss services.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Various health insurance plans cover medical nutrition therapy for a variety of health conditions, such as, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, weight loss, kidney disease, and gastrointestinal disorders. Our skilled staff of registered dietitians can help your patients meet their health goals through personalized nutrition education and by individualizing a meal plan based on their food preferences. Click here for a Physician's Referral Form.

Schedule an appointment for Diabetes Education

To schedule an appointment for diabetes education, our clinic must receive a referral form from your physician. Please ask your physician to complete the referral form and fax it to 713-790-6366. After receiving your referral the scheduler will contact you to determine how we can best service your needs and schedule you for a visit at any of our four locations around town. The MWMC offers diabetes education at the following locations: the Medical Center, Medical Clinics of Houston, Sugar Land, and Willowbrook. You may call our clinic at 713-441-5975 to check on whether or not we received the referral and to inquire about scheduling an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to properly use blood glucose (sugar) for energy. Therefore, the glucose remains in our bloodstream causing blood sugars to remain too high. Blood sugars can remain too high for different reasons. The pancreas makes insulin, which is a hormone that helps our cells use blood glucose for energy. Individuals with diabetes may stop making insulin or not make enough or their insulin may not work well in order to properly lower blood sugars. Having consistently elevated blood sugars can cause a variety of health problems.

Are there different types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes used to be known as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. It occurs when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas overtime the pancreas stops making insulin. Only 5-10% of people have Type 1 diabetes. It usually occurs in children, teenagers, and young adults, but it could develop in older adults too. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin daily for life.

Type 2 diabetes was called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult onset diabetes in the past. About 90-95% of individuals with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes the body makes insulin but it may not make enough and/or the insulin it makes may not work well. This type of diabetes usually occurs in individuals 45 years old or old, but a growing number of children and teens now have type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

Older age
Family history of diabetes
History of gestational diabetes
Impaired glucose intolerance
Physical inactivity
Race/Ethnicity (Namely African American, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders are usually at greater risk for type 2 diabetes )

Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. About 4% of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes. It usually develops around the 24th week of pregnancy. The development of this type of diabetes is usually related to the production of normal pregnancy hormones. These pregnancy hormones cause the body to not make enough insulin and it may prevent insulin from working as well resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. In order to keep the mother and the baby healthy it is important to maintain good control of blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually disappears during the post-partum phase. However, studies indicate that two-thirds of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Pre-diabetes is a stage that develops prior to type 2 diabetes. Individuals with pre-diabetes have higher than normal blood sugar readings, but the readings are not high enough to diagnose the individual with type 2 diabetes. Over 50 million American have pre-diabetes. Studies have indicated that if a patient with pre-diabetes does not make healthy changes in their weight, eating habits, and physical activity level they are likely to develop diabetes in the next 5 years.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Anyone can develop diabetes. It can affect people at any age. There are five common risk factors for developing diabetes. These include:

Family history of diabetes
Lack of physical activity
Being overweight
Being over 40 years old
Being African America, Native American, Hispanic Asian American, Asian Indian, or Pacific Islander

The common signs of diabetes are:

Feeling tired
Urinating often
Being very thirsty
Feeling very hungry
Having blurry vision
Having an infection that does not go away
Having wounds or sores that do not heal well
Possible weight loss

If your health care provider thinks that you maybe a risk of developing diabetes, they may do a blood test to find out for sure. View the criteria for diagnosing pre-diabetes or diabetes in the table below.

Fasting blood sugar test should be completed after 8-10 hours of fasting.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) can measure how the body responds to sugar. You are given a drink with a very high amount of sugar in it and your health care provider will draw blood every 60 minutes for up to 3 hours to measure your response to the sugar.
Random blood sugar. A random blood sugar test measures the amount of sugar in your blood at that moment. It can be done at anytime of the day with no regard to food.


What can I do if I know that I have diabetes?

Finding out that you have diabetes can elicit many feelings about your health and questions about the disease. Each person with diabetes is unique and a one size fits all approach to management may not work for you. In addition, the more you know about diabetes and your health the more that you can preserve your quality of life and stave off future complications. Therefore, individuals living with diabetes should meet with a diabetes educator at least one time per year to answer your questions and to learn how to gain control of diabetes. Ask your physician to complete a physician's referral form to the Methodist Weight Management Center for diabetes education.

The Four Cornerstones of Diabetes Education are basic skills that you can practice to help you manage your health until you are able to see a diabetes educator. They include: Taking your Medications, Self Monitoring Blood Sugars, Eating Healthy and Being Active.

Taking your Medications
Your health care provider may have prescribed diabetes medications that can help manage your blood sugars. These medications may be in the form of pills, insulin or other injectable medications. In order to gain better control of your blood sugars it's important to take them consistently as prescribed by your health care provider. Please contact your health care provider's office if you have questions about your medication(s).

Self Monitoring your Blood Sugars
Blood sugar levels can be affected by the foods you eat, stress, exercise, illness, and medications. Checking your blood sugars is the best way for you to see how your treatment plan is working. Depending on your treatment plan, your health care provider may have asked you to check once a day or up to seven times per day. Do your best to check as recommended and bring this information with you when you see your health care provider or the diabetes educator.This information will let you and your healthcare providers known how your medicine, food and exercise are working to control your blood sugars.

Eating Healthy
One of the most important ways to manage diabetes is by eating the right foods in the right amounts. Learning how to plan your meals and snack is also important in managing diabetes. You do not need special diet foods and the foods that are good for you are good for the entire family. A Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator can help you personalize your eating plan.
Some basic guidelines to follow are:

Do not skip meals. Eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks per day. Try to eat meals at the same time each day.
Watch portion sizes.
Eat a variety of foods. Adds lot of color to your meals and snack by adding fruits and vegetables. Choose foods high in fiber like whole-grain breads, beans, bran cereals, whole grain pastas, and brown rice.
Limit your fat intake. Avoiding fried foods, cut off visible fats when possible, and use smaller amounts of gravies, creamy sauces, oil, margarine or butter, and salad dressings.
Limit your sodium intake. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods.
Plan meals using the Plate Method.

Be Physically Active
Being physically active does not mean that you have to join a gym or force yourself to doing something that you can't stand. Increasing your physical activity means sitting less often and engaging in activities that you enjoy, so that you are more likely to maintain your new activity level. Being more physically active can positively impact your health by:

Lowering your blood sugar levels
Helping your body use its insulin better
Helping you lose weight and keep it off
Making your heart and lungs work better
Lowering your blood pressure
Lowering your blood fats
Making your muscles strong
Lowering stress levels

The American Diabetes Association recommends exercising for at least 150 minutes every week. This includes aerobic activity, such as, walking, swimming, biking, dancing, and water aerobics. Doing some exercise every day is ideal. If you can't do 20-30 minutes at one time, try breaking the time up to 2 sessions of 10-15 minutes during the day. Making small changes in your routine can make a big difference in your health.Try some of these ideas and discover what activities you enjoy doing:

Walk the dog
Hustle housework
Fire the gardener
Play with the kids
Put the remote away
Get dancing
Stretch to relax
Park farther and walk
Take the stairs
Walk and talk with a partner
Try commercial calisthenics when watching TV

Recommended Books about Diabetes and Cooking

Complete Guide to Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association
Month of Meals, Quick & Easy Menus for People with Diabetes: Classic Cooking by the American Diabetes Association
Using Insulin, Everything You Need for Success With Insulin by John Walsh, Ruth Roberts, Timothy Bailey, and Chandra B. Varma

Additional Diabetes Resources