Diabetes & Endocrinology

Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). The specific causes of diabetes depend on the type of diabetes that you're diagnosed with.

For more information on diabetes, click on WWW.DIABETES.ORG, the website for the American Diabetes Association.

Endocrinology focuses primarily on the endocrine organs, or those organs that may cause a "hormone imbalance". These organs include the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas. This can be a complicated specialty. There are many glands and hormones in the body, each with their own jobs to do. It is a delicate chemical balance that keeps our bodies running smoothly with very little effort on our part. When the balance is upset, serious diseases and conditions can develop.

Endocrinologists can help you manage your diabetes by prescribing insulin and/or medications, offering diet plans and helping you to keep a close watch on your blood glucose levels.

Besides diabetes, Endocrinologists also diagnose and treat such issues as:

  • Cushing's disease
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
  • Graves disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget's disease and Rickets
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Benefis Diabetes Education Program

The Benefis Diabetes Education Program offers resources needed to help keep your diabetes under control. In small groups or with individual counseling, you'll learn how to make positive lifestyle changes to live your life well.

Recognized by the American Diabetes Association for quality Self-Management Education, this comprehensive program is facilitated by qualified staff dedicated to providing you with the best education and expertise.

A series of three educational classes is held on Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. at Benefis Doctors Plaza, Lower Level Classroom, 2800 11th Avenue South in Great Falls. For more information call 406.455.5516.

Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program

Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program offers a 10-month proven educational program to assist individuals with lifestyle changes to help prevent diabetes, promote weight loss, provide nutritional education and encourage routine exercise.

The program includes:

  • Weight-loss and lifestyle goal setting.
  • Diet and physical activity recommendations.
  • Supportive environment to help you achieve and maintain healthy habits.

Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program is conducted by a team of healthcare professionals who provide education on nutrition, exercise and behavioral changes to help you live a healthy life.

Cost for this 10-month program is $100 for first time participants and $60 for repeat participants. The fees cover:

  • Weekly class instructions
  • Program materials
  • Monthly group sessions

All classes are held on Wednesdays from 12 – 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 4 – 5 p.m. at Benefis Doctors Plaza, Lower Level Classroom, 2800 11th Avenue South in Great Falls. Classes begin in January and August.

Download a brochure HERE.

For more information about the Benefis Diabetes Program or the Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program, please contact:

Deb Bjorsness, RD, CDE, Diabetes Program Coordinator
Benefis Health System
1101 26th Street South
Great Falls, Montana 59405
Phone 406.731.8855 / Fax 406.455.4497