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 Medical Office Building 12, Lower Level Classroom, 2800 11th Avenue South in Great Falls. For more information call 406.731.8855.

Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program

Lose weight, feel great and learn to live well for a lifetime! The Benefis Healthy Lifestyle Program is a 12-month educational program to help participants reduce their risk of developing diabetes by losing weight, keeping it off by learning healthy eating habits and committing to regular exercise.

The program, conducted by a team of healthcare and nutrition professionals, begins in January and August of each year and consists of 8 once-a-week classes and 8 every-other-week meetings for the first 6 months, followed by six monthly sessions. Participants are provided:

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

Course materials and three lab tests are included in the affordable fee. Scholarships may be available.

Weekly classes are held Wednesdays from Noon-1 p.m. or Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. (you choose the best time for you). All classes are held at Benefis Medical Office Building #12, Lower Level Classroom, at 2800 11th Avenue South in Great Falls.

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