What I Wish Someone With Type 2 Diabetes Would Ask Me as a CDCES
I LOVE when someone comes to see me with a list of questions. I'm a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). When someone comes with questions, it usually means they’ve done their own research about diabetes. Maybe their research made them question what they already know. Or perhaps they’re starting from scratch and want to gain as much knowledge as they can during our time together.
But there are a few things that I wish folks would ask me, that they rarely, if ever, do. These are the top two questions I wish someone with type 2 diabetes would ask me as a CDCES.
What are your credentials as a CDCES?
There are many labels used to describe both qualified professionals and those with little or no training. For example, let's discuss the title "nutritionist." It’s used to describe highly qualified registered dietitians, who have years of schooling and clinical training. But, "nutritionist" is also used to describe a layperson who gives diet advice without a medical background or training. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist.
The importance of knowing credentials
To ensure that you are working with a qualified practitioner, ask your healthcare provider about their credentials. The provider is more likely to offer you evidence-based support and accurate information and treatment when they can back up their services with credentials. As a CDCES, my degrees and certifications come from a place of passion and dedication. It’s my way of showing that I am passionate about my profession and my role in your care.
What is the simplest thing I can do to manage my diabetes?
All too often, people come to me expressing they need to "change everything" once they have type 2 diabetes. And many times, folks have already made extreme changes to try to manage their diabetes, even before setting foot in my office. They have created an unrealistic expectation that the only way to manage diabetes well is by making extreme lifestyle changes.
Avoiding burnout with extreme changes
Unfortunately, I’ve observed that the more extreme changes are, the sooner those changes reach an expiration date. This means that you may experience burnout to keep up with these major changes. When life throws you curve balls that take time, attention, and money away from your diabetes management, burnout is more common.
Finding your main areas of focus
Instead of making extreme changes, I wish folks would ask me about the "top two." The top two refer to the main areas of focus to manage diabetes. By figuring out the top two, you can prioritize the factors that have the biggest impact on controlling blood sugars. Having two priorities makes creating and sticking to your personalized diabetes management plan easier. Rather than focusing on ten different factors at once, you can focus on two and feel confident in your plan.
So go on and ask your healthcare providers these questions at your next appointment. From a CDCES to a primary care physician, you may be surprised at the answers you get!
Have you experienced any foot complications from diabetes?