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Adventist Hinsdale Hospital offers free support group for diabetics

Hinsdale – Did you know that replacing half the sugar in your favorite carrot cake with applesauce results in a diabetic-friendly dessert? Are you aware which oils keep your blood vessels supple? Introductory diabetic classes often include information on medication, weight loss, counting carbohydrates and testing blood sugars, but may stop short of the coping strategies other diabetics have discovered – such as surviving holiday parties, beginning an exercise program, making wise food choices when ill and altering traditional recipes.


A support group aims to fill that void. Diabetics and their family and friends are invited to attend a new diabetic support group that meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center, 121 N. Elm St., Hinsdale. For more information, call 630-856-6717. The first meeting is May 8. The meeting is free and advance registration is not neccessary.


“The goal is to keep healthy,” said Jacquelyn McKernan, diabetes program coordinator. “The information can be a little overwhelming, especially since eating is connected to our social life. Many people need the emotional support they can’t get anywhere else.”


In addition to decades of accumulated clinical knowledge, McKernan understands the daily challenges of diabetes management. Three of her siblings have insulin-dependent diabetes, so McKernan is accustomed to eating meals that emphasized salads and vegetables. She also knows ignoring diabetes has grim consequences.


“Diabetes invades every organ of the body,” McKernan said.


Acceptable blood sugar control, McKernan stresses, does not mean perfect control. Unfortunately, she added, no magic diet exists that will instantly bring down high blood sugars. Diabetics need to understand portion control and to learn to read labels.


“A good diabetic diet is simply a healthy diet, with fats and carbohydrates in the right amounts,” McKernan said.


Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit