Help is out there for those Americans dealing with the disease.
The Putnam County Office of the Purdue Extension Service and the Putnam County Hospital offer a Dining with Diabetes class three times each year. The program is adapted (with permission) from West Virginia University's Extension "Dining with Diabetes" and University of Georgia's Extension "The Rite Bite."
Sharon Black, registered dietician at the hospital, and Jackie Baumann, Extension educator, teach the class. There are currently 14 people attending the four-week series at the hospital.
Baumann gives participants various recipes to prepare for people with diabetes. (Members of the class enjoy samples of those recipes.) Black teaches good eating habits to help control sugar levels.
Other things that are taught include how to read a nutrition label, the right portion of food to eat and having alcohol or dessert. Black and Baumann answer any questions such as "Can I be a vegetarian, if I have diabetes?"
Baumann said anyone interested in learning more about diabetes could contact her at 653-8411, for a brochure. The classes are not limited to people with diabetes, but someone who has a spouse, loved one or even a friend with the disease is welcome.
The next series will be in February and pre-registration is accepted.