Diabetes Education

The mission of the Diabetes Education Center at Natividad is to provide a comprehensive program of the highest quality in order to enhance, promote and protect the health of Monterey County’s individuals, families, communities, and environment.

On June 15, 2012, the Diabetes Education Center at Natividad became an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. This allows residents in Monterey County to have increased access to critical diabetes education services. The Diabetes Education Center offers outpatient services to children and adults with diabetes Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes, and pre-diabetes. Outpatient services include individual counseling and education, group counseling and education, community presentations, and outreach. Services are provided by a registered nurse certified diabetes educator (RN, CDE) and registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Services are available in English, Spanish and other languages.

About Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study showed that many overweight and obese Americans do not believe they are at serious risk for diabetes and are ignoring it as a health risk. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

There are two major types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 indicates that the body cannot produce any insulin. This most often occurs in children and young adults. These individuals must take daily insulin injections.
  • Type 2 is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body’s inability to make enough, or properly use, insulin. This type makes up 90 to 95 percent of affected population.

Risk Factors
The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in adults include a family history of the disease; age of 45 or older, or age of 25 or older with risk factors;  overweight or obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 25 kg/m² or greater than or equal to 23 kg/m² in Asian Americans); physical inactivity; minority race/ethnicity; hypertension (blood pressure greater than 140 over 90 or on therapy for hypertension); history of cardiovascular disease; history of HDL cholesterol level less than 35 mg/dL and/or triglyceride level greater than 250 mg/dL; women with polycystic ovary syndrome; other conditions associated with insulin resistance (e.g. severe obesity, acanthosis nigricans).

The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents (under 18 years old) include overweight (BMI greater than 85th percentile for age and sex, or than weight for height); maternal history of diabetes or gestational diabetes during the child’s gestation; family history of diabetes; minority race/ethnicity; signs of insulin resistance or conditions associated with insulin resistance (e.g. severe obesity, acanthosis nigricans).

Patients with pre-diabetes should be tested for diabetes yearly. Women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes should have lifelong testing for diabetes at least every three years.

Source:  American Diabetes Association, “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2018”

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes
Frequent urination Any of the Type 1 symptoms
Unusual thirst Frequent infections
Extreme hunger Blurred vision
Unusual weight loss Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
Extreme fatigue and irritability ingling/numbness in the hands/feet
Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

You can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. Change your diet, increase your level of physical activity, maintain a healthy weight; with these positive steps, you can stay healthier longer and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Living Well With Diabetes

Are you constantly asking yourself, “What can I eat?” It’s time to stop worrying! Living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived or restricted. We’ll help you learn what you can eat (which is just about anything), how much of it you can consume, and how often you can enjoy it. Once you get the hang of eating a healthy diet, you can relax and dig in to a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks. There isn’t research that clearly points to supplementation, so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods.

Download Our Handy Pocket Guide!
Click to download our “Living with Diabetes” guide that includes daily superfood suggestions, emergency foods, a blood sugar record chart, and emergency contact information.

Diabetes Patient Resources

Download the Diabetes Education Center Referral Form >

Download the Food Intake in One Day Worksheet >

Download our Diabetes Self-Management Questionnaire >

Download our Pre-Diabetes Self-Management Questionnnaire >

Download the Diabetes Survival Booklet >

View Diabetes Educational Videos >

For More Information, Contact:

Natividad Diabetes Education Center
Phone (831) 755-6292
Fax (831) 796-2833

EN ESPAÑOL: Recursos para pacientes con diabetes.