What is diabetes?

Most of the food we eat is turned into sugars or glucose, used for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should, causing sugars to build up in your blood.

The most life-threatening consequences of diabetes are heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations.

Baptist Health’s Diabetes Self Management Education and Support Services provide comprehensive diabetes education for patients and their family members to help them learn how to control the disorder and how to prevent medical complications associated with diabetes.

What are the symptoms?

  • Frequent urination

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Feeling very hungry, even though you are eating

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Blurry vision

  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal

What treatment option is available?

Diabetes Self Management Education and Support Services

Accredited by the American Diabetes Association, Baptist Health’s Diabetes Self Management Education and Support Services provide comprehensive education for patients with a new diagnosis of diabetes, those who have had diabetes for many years or those who are at risk for the development of diabetes.
The program consists of four appointments:
  • First Appointment, Initial Assessment (one hour) You will meet with a diabetes educator who will listen to your experiences and concerns about living with diabetes. The educator will describe how diabetes affects the body and how to avoid complications. You will receive a glucometer if you need one and learn how to test blood sugar less painfully.  
  • Second Appointment, Nutrition (one hour) You and a Registered Dietitian will create a personalized plan of eating. The goal is for people to enjoy what they eat while still keeping blood sugar in the target range. You will learn about counting carbohydrates, reading and understanding food labels and meal planning for diabetes.
  • Third Appointment, Class (three hours) This is a group class with no more than 10 people. We encourage class members to ask questions and to participate. You will have a chance to review previous topics and to learn new information.
  • Fourth Appointment, “Putting the Pieces Together” Class (one and a half hours) We begin the class by asking participants to tell about their difficulties and their successes in reaching their health goals. We will introduce community resources to help you continue your success after completing the program.  
Physicians and patients who have used Diabetes Self Management Education and Support Services report that benefits include improved diabetes control, moral support through peer interaction and increased ability to cope with diabetes.

Contact us at 202-1877.

National Diabetes Prevention Program

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidenced based program that provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating and increasing physical activity in order to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The program is delivered over a 12 month period in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Benton, beginning with 16 sessions followed by 6 maintenance sessions.

If you have prediabetes or other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, this FREE lifestyle change program can help you make a change to improve your health!

To register and for more information contact 501-202-1540.

Diabetes Support Group

Diabetes can seem overwhelming because it affects so many areas of daily life. Join us in supporting those with diabetes and their caregivers. Our monthly support groups are fun and interesting. Learn more about our Diabetes Support Group.

Diabetes Empowerment Education program (DEEP)

Join us for a FREE 6-session Diabetes Empowerment Education program! Learn about diabetes and its risk factors. Get the facts and learn how the human body works, how to manage your health through nutrition and physical activity, and techniques to reduce stress and help you cope. Classes offered in Bryant, Benton, Lonoke, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, Maumelle and Conway.

To register and for more information on DEEP classes contact Baptist Health Community Outreach at 501-202-1540.

If you have diabetes, you may be eligible for a free one year program.


Hear from our patients and educators.