Research studies have shown improved patient outcomes when diabetes self-management education (DSME) is provided at the diagnosis of diabetes and remains an ongoing part of diabetes care.
Unfortunately, many of you may have never received diabetes education. Such education is vital in helping to make day-to-day life with diabetes more manageable. Whether you have received diabetes education or not, my question for our community members is this: “What do you wish you would have been taught when first diagnosed and/or what do you want to know now that you have been diagnosed for a period of time?”
My goal as a diabetes educator is to provide education that, hopefully makes life with diabetes more manageable. With input from our community members, I hope to gain a better understanding of how I can better serve those living with this chronic condition.
How can certified diabetes educators help with diabetes management?
The following is a list of some common topics that diabetes educators may provide education on.
Please take a moment to review these topics so that you can provide input on what subject matter would be most helpful to you
- What foods have carbohydrates?
- Impact of carbohydrates on blood glucose
- How to read a nutrition label
- Grocery shopping tips
- Going out to eat
Monitoring blood glucose
- How to use a blood glucose meter
- When to check blood glucose
- Keeping a blood glucose log
- Glucose target range and what to do if glucose is out of target range
How to properly inject insulin (if prescribed)
- Understanding the onset, peak, and duration of insulin
- Where insulin injections can be given
- Rotating injection sites
- Proper storage of insulin
- Proper disposal of sharps (i.e. syringes or pen needle tips)
Managing low blood glucose
- Signs and symptoms of a low blood glucose
- How to treat a low blood glucose
- Causes and prevention of low blood glucose
How to manage sick days
- Impact of illness on blood glucose levels
- When to contact health care provider
- Exercise recommendations
- Impact of exercise on blood glucose levels
High risk behaviors and activities that may influence diabetes management and control
- Potential impact of diabetes on mental health
- Insulin pumps
- Continuous glucose monitors
- Participating in clinical trials
- Finding a cure
- Community events and support groups
Frequency of screening for complications
When to call your health care provider
- Understanding when you should contact your health care provider versus going to urgent care or to the emergency room
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I look forward to your input!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?