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Diabetes Education Center

Managing Your Diabetes for Optimum Health

The key to managing diabetes is education. At Reston Hospital's Diabetes Education Center, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools to prevent diabetes or effectively manage your condition and help you avoid related complications.

Founded in 1992, the Diabetes Education Center has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for the quality of its educational services. After you've been referred to the Diabetes Education Center by your physician, we'll conduct an initial assessment and establish goals and objectives to meet your needs. Family members above age 12 or significant others are invited to learn along with you. Your physician, endocrinologist or, in the case of gestational diabetes, your obstetrician, is kept involved throughout the process.

Classes and Services to Meet Your Needs

At the Diabetes Education Center, we offer customized classes, individual appointments, support groups and other tools to help you manage your form of diabetes.

People with Type 1 diabetes are seen on an individual basis. A diabetes educator will assess your needs and develop an individualized plan of care that includes educational counseling by a nurse educator and dietitian. A physician referral is required.

Please contact us at 703.689.9164 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our educational services for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Prior to your appointment, check with your insurer regarding coverage of diabetes self-management education.

Please bring the following to your initial appointment:

  • A blood glucose meter and a log book if you have one. If not, we'll provide this.
  • A signed referral from your physician.
  • Your lab work from the past six to 12 months. You may ask your physician's office to fax them to the Reston Hospital Center Diabetes Education Center at 703.689.9107.
  • A completed Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes Patient Health Questionnaire. If you're unable to download and print the questionnaire, please contact us at 703.689.9164.

Our Type 2 Diabetes Education Program is a multi-week series that teaches participants about diabetes and provides advice about how to live–and thrive–with the disease. Our nurse educators will help you navigate the maze of diabetes information with classes and individual meetings where you will learn about:

  • Testing your blood sugar and using the results
  • Developing meal plans
  • Being active
  • Taking medication
  • Problem solving
  • Healthy coping
  • Reducing risks

Take your choice of Type 2 Diabetes Education classes, depending on which one fits your schedule. Choose to meet on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to noon, or select the class that meets Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 7. The class consists of four meetings spread out over six weeks. Each attendee receives a personalized meal plan and a glucose meter. If you have questions, call 703.689.9164.

Preregistration for classes is required. To register, please call Consult-A-Nurse® at 1.877.689.DOCS (3627).

Before your first class, check with your insurer regarding coverage of diabetes self-management education.

Please bring the following to your initial class:

  • A blood glucose meter and a log book if you have one. If not, we'll provide this.
  • A signed referral from your physician.
  • Your lab work from the past six to 12 months. You may ask your physician's office to fax them to the Reston Hospital Center Diabetes Education Center at 703.689.9107.
  • A completed Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes Patient Health Questionnaire. If you're unable to download and print the questionnaire, please contact us at 703.689.9164.

Your spouse, significant other or support person over age 12 is welcome to attend classes with you. You may also bring snacks to eat during class.

The gestational diabetes class is designed to teach you everything you need to know to manage your gestational diabetes, beginning with medical nutritional therapy. Our registered dietitian will create and review a meal plan with you. Other topics include monitoring blood sugar, hypo- and hyperglycemia, medications, insulin instructions, exercise and future prevention of diabetes. A physician's referral is required to attend this class.

The class meets on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the West Wing Training Room at Reston Hospital Center. Please preregister by calling Consult-A-Nurse® at 1.877.689.DOCS (3627).

In some case, it's advisable to meet with a diabetes educator on an individual basis. If you have questions or want to schedule an individual appointment with a diabetes educator, please call 703.689.9164.

Before your initial class or appointment, download and complete the Gestational Health Questionnaire and follow these general dietary guidelines:

  • Eat small, frequent meals–six a day–no more than three hours apart
  • Do not eat any sweets at all; no juice
  • If you drink milk, limit yourself to eight ounces/one cup at a time
  • Eat whole-grain and low-fat foods
  • If you eat rice or pasta, limit the amount to 2/3 cup or one cup at a time
  • No fruit at breakfast; breakfast should be the smallest meal of the day
  • Eat a small amount of protein with each meal and snack

Learn more about pregnancy and birth services at Reston Hospital Center.

Our prediabetes class instructs patients about prediabetes and how to make small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in diabetes prevention and management. You'll learn about how you can reduce your risk of becoming diabetic by:

  • Losing weight
  • Lowering high blood pressure
  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Maintaining regular exercise

The prediabetes class meets monthly from 4 to 6 p.m. in Conference Room A in the West Wing Tower at Reston Hospital Center. When you register by phone, you may pay the $75 class fee with a credit card. If you plan to pay at the door, we only accept cash or check.

Call Consult-A-Nurse® at 877.689.DOCS (3627) to learn about upcoming classes or to preregister.

How Can a Diabetes Educator Help Me?

Diabetes educators are the core of the program. They counsel and teach patients and their families about all aspects of diabetes and provide them with the knowledge and tools to manage the disease. A diabetes educator is a licensed health professional such as a registered nurse or a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes education. These skilled professionals receive intensive education, training and support as part of their diabetes self-management training (DSMT). A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) must serve a practicum in the field and pass a national exam to receive certification.

What's a Registered Dietitian?

A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has received advanced training in the areas of food and nutrition sciences, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and chemistry. Registered dietitians provide nutritional counseling with an emphasis on diabetes management and prevention.

For more information about Diabetes Education Programs at Reston Hospital, call 703.689.9100.

To help you manage your diabetes, explore our options for nutrition services, surgical weight loss and fitness/exercise programs through Reston Therapy & Fitness.

To learn more about the risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes, visit our online Health Library.

Check our online calendar for information about support groups where you'll meet others who share your experience and encourage your success.