Diabetes Services: Taking Charge for a Healthier Life

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re far from alone. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. That’s nearly 10 percent of the population.

While the statistics can seem overwhelming, there’s a lot you (or someone you love) can do to avoid complications, and live the healthy, long life you deserve. If you don’t have diabetes but are at risk for it, preventive care, modest lifestyle changes and ongoing education can also go a long way toward improving your health and wellness.

Whether you’re newly diagnosed, at high risk for complications or need a refresher on how to control your blood sugar, Holland Hospital can help you manage your diabetes—instead of letting it manage you.

Dr. Kristen Sumners, Lakeshore Health Partners-Family Medicine, talks about symptoms and risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes means your pancreas is no longer capable of producing insulin. Therefore, it will be your responsibility to monitor your blood glucose (sugar) levels and administer the insulin your body needs. The majority of people with diabetes have type 2, which is associated with older age, obesity, family history of the disease, previous history of gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy), physical inactivity and ethnicity. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually makes enough insulin, but the body does not use it correctly.

Left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications, including heart disease, eye, kidney and nerve damage, skin conditions, and more.

It’s also estimated that 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels rise above normal, but have yet to reach the level of diabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign that type 2 diabetes may soon develop.

You can learn more about diabetes here.  

National Diabetes Prevention Program

Holland Hospital is one of few area locations to offer access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a program specifically designed for those at risk for, or already diagnosed with, prediabetes. Taught by a certified diabetes educator and trained lifestyle coach, the program has been proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Our program is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved curriculum, and consists of 16 weekly sessions followed by six monthly sessions. Call 616-394-3344 for more information and upcoming start dates.

Find out if you are at risk for Prediabetes.  

Diabetes Care: Self-Management and Empowerment

If you have diabetes (or think you might), the first and best thing you can do is learn all you can about the condition. Being proactive with your disease and your lifestyle is critical to your long-term health.

Does managing your diabetes seem like a full-time job? Living with diabetes can be complicated, and life can easily get in the way of eating right, exercising, monitoring your blood sugar, taking your medications on schedule and visiting your doctor.

The good news is, we have a dedicated team to guide you every step of the way. Led by your primary care doctor, your diabetes care team may also incorporate the expertise of:

  • Diabetes educators (registered nurses and registered dietitians)
  • Mental health professionals
  • Fitness trainers

Holland Hospital’s Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Program can give you the knowledge, tools and support you need to successfully manage your diabetes. And it’s good to know that most insurance companies will cover the cost of up to 10 hours of diabetes education and 2-3 hours of nutritional counseling for those newly diagnosed. Annual follow-up visits are also a covered service (2 hours of diabetes education and 2 hours of nutrition counseling). Deductibles and co-pays may apply.

Based on national standards developed by the American Diabetes Association, our program embraces a team approach that includes you, your loved ones, your primary care doctor and our certified diabetes educators. With you as our most valued partner, we can help you:

  • Feel empowered to better manage your disease
  • Lower health care costs due to improved symptom control
  • Decrease your risk of eye, kidney and nerve damage, and cardiovascular disease
  • Increase your energy level and independence
  • Enhance your overall quality of life

One-on-one visits and group classes are available as part of our Diabetes Self-Management Education Program. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes overview
  • Meal planning for blood-sugar control
  • Improving blood sugar through exercise
  • Monitoring blood-sugar levels and targets to reach
  • Medication management
  • Insulin therapy training and insulin pump therapy management
  • Preventing short- and long-term diabetes complications

Call 616-394-3273 for more information about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program.




  • About Type II Diabetes

    About Type II Diabetes

    Kristen Sumners, DO, Holland Hospital Family Medicine Zeeland talks about symptoms and risk factors of Type 2 Diabetes.

  • Diabetes Self-Management Programs

    Diabetes Self-Management Programs

    Information and introduction from Diabetes Self-Management Education programs in Michigan and how these programs can help people diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes prevent or manage their disease.

  • Lindsey

    Taking Control of Diabetes

    Taking Control - Type 2 Diabetes

    Aware of her family history, Lindsey Sprik hoped diabetes wouldn’t happen to her, but when it did, she faced her type-2 diabetes diagnosis head-on. Hear how Lindsay took advantage of Holland Hospital’s diabetes education classes to take control of her A1C.