Comprehensive Diabetes Education Programs in your Community


Diabetes EducationNewly diagnosed with diabetes? Having difficulty counting carbs or keeping your blood sugar regulated? Skagit Regional Health offers a comprehensive program for adults with diabetes, either newly diagnosed or those people who need extra guidance in managing their blood glucose.

The Diabetes Education Program is a leader in Northwest Washington, with educators at both Skagit Valley Hospital and Cascade Valley Hospital. We have a leading-edge team of highly-skilled diabetes specialists trained to help you and your health care provider manage your diabetes, now and for the rest of your life. Skagit Regional Health’s Diabetic Education Program is certified by the American Diabetes Association and recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Lifesaving Information Keeps Diabetes Patients Healthy

Our team of diabetes experts provides advanced diabetes care to families across Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties. We believe that every person should benefit from early diabetes detection and lifesaving treatments to keep you healthy. Our two locations provide the diabetes education and expert care you need, making it easier and more convenient when managing jobs and family responsibilities.

Diabetes Signs and Symptoms

You may have diabetes and not know it. It is very important to have your glucose checked at annual well check-ups so you are aware of your numbers and can be alerted to any changes. However, more visible diabetes symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Unexplained weight loss

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can start quickly over a few weeks. Type 2 diabetes symptoms usually start slowly, over the span of a few years. Some people have no diabetes symptoms or mild diabetes symptoms, so they don’t know they have diabetes. Some people don’t realize they have diabetes until they have diabetes complications such as heart disease, a wound that won’t heal or blurred vision.

Understanding Types of Diabetes

There are generally three types of diabetes, including:

  • Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes frequently starts in childhood when the immune system, the body’s infection-fighting system, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes has a genetic and environmental component; factors such as viruses may trigger the disease.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is caused by lifestyle and genetic factors. Particularly, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are physically inactive and are overweight or obese.
  • Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. This form of diabetes is caused by the changes of pregnancy with hormones as well as lifestyle and genetic factors. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 7-14 percent of all pregnant women.

Educational Information Helps Better Manage Diabetes

The Diabetes Education Program at Skagit Regional Health provides one-on-one appointments with a certified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian. The comprehensive and specialized education program is for patients with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes. Our diabetes experts provide personalized nutrition counseling that meets the needs of each person, along with information to improve blood sugar control.

Additionally, we counsel patients with diabetes who also have the following conditions:

Our Diabetes Education Program includes practical discussions on the following:

  • Coping and problem solving
  • Diabetes education on weight management, understanding glucose levels and knowing A1C numbers
  • Insulin management
  • Meal planning, including carb counting and pre-bariatric surgery diet
  • Medication management
  • Monitoring blood glucose
  • Physical activity, including exercise physiology
  • Pump management, including children under 18 with type 1 diabetes
  • Risk reduction

Meet Our Experts

Our diabetes experts at Skagit Regional Health provide unique diabetes management through a series of one-on-one sessions exclusive to your personal health needs. Our dietitians (RDs) are registered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association) and are certified by the Washington State Department of Health. Our exercise physiologist has a strong background in diabetes, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation education. The team includes:

  • Board-certified endocrinologists
  • Certified diabetes educator
  • Certified physician assistant
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Registered dietitians

Managing Your Diabetes with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

Proper management of diabetes means that those with diabetes must maintain blood glucose levels as close as possible to the normal range. This can be done through self-monitoring blood glucose and checking levels through lab testing of HbA1c to measure longer-term glycemic control.

Through advances in technology, continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) are now available so patients have a more accurate and complete short- and long-term understanding of their blood glucose levels. A small sensor is worn in the abdominal area to measure glucose levels every five minutes. This device stores data to provide important information about changes or trends in your glucose levels.

Diabetes Education Program Requires a Referral

To see an endocrinology specialist or to participate in our Diabetes Education Program, a referral is required from your healthcare provider. For the Diabetes Education Program, your insurance company will likely require clinical information about your diabetes. The program is covered by most insurance companies. Patients who are not covered by insurance may self-refer and you may qualify for sliding scale payments. Referrals should be faxed to 360-814-5515 for Skagit Valley Hospital and Cascade Valley Hospital. Our hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For More Information about Diabetes Care at Skagit Regional Health

To learn more about our comprehensive care and management of diabetes, please contact one of our team members at Skagit Regional Health at 360-814-8329. We can help you make an appointment with a diabetes specialist at one of our convenient locations.