The Center of Disease Control and Prevention says that 2.8 million people are affected by diabetes in the United States of America.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that force an individual who has it to take a lot of self management decisions, on a daily routine and to make complex care activities. People with diabetes need help in order to manage these decisions and activities.
If you are directly interested you have to know that there is a diabetes self management education program and it is facilitating the skills and knowledge necessary for diabetes self-care.
We want to review and to explain to you what a pacient that suffers from type 2 diabetes, can do in order to manage their illness.
What is self-management, when talking about diabetes?
Diabetes self-management is defined as an ongoing process of facilitating the knowledge, skill, and ability necessary for diabetes self-care. Self-management should incorporate the needs, goals, and life experiences of the person with diabetes and should be guided by evidence-based standards. The overall objectives of DSME (diabetes self-management education) are to support informed decision-making, self-care behaviors, problem-solving, and active collaboration with the health care team and improve clinical outcomes, health status, and quality of life, by The American Diabetes Association. It actually helps people to learn about their illness in different ways.
A lot of people that suffers from type 2 diabetes do daily self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). When is this recommended? The American Diabetes Association recommends SMBG 3 or more times daily if the patient is using multiple insulin injections. If a patient with type 2 diabetes is not taking insulin, the benefits of SMBG are not significant.
The principal purpose of diabetes self-management is to engage the patients to care and be active in the process of managing their chronic condition, and this can only be a very good thing. Diabetes self-management is promising but the evidence are limited and not so conclusive.
What studies have shown about self-management diabetes educational programs?
They reveal that:
- Diabetes self-management education has better results when there exists a combination of group and individualized therapy
- Diabetes self-management education looks to be more effective when it’s explained by a team and not by a single provider
- A quality diabetes self-management education program very benefits for people with poor glycemic control
In the last years, there have been a lot of changes in managing diseases. A lot of the medical approaches have been replaced by preventive and participatory approaches, the patients being directly involved in the management of their care services, and that’s why, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you should try and learn as much as you can about this subject.
These approaches are based on the strong belief that the patients should have an obligation, and be encouraged, to follow the recommendations or direction of their healthcare providers, this way being the key to success when it comes to managing their condition.
What are the factors linked to successful self-care behavior of patients with type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes self-management depends on patient’s knowledge of diabetes and their behavioral self-regulation.
The most important 4 factors are:
- The patient characteristics
- The relationship between doctor and patient
- The psychological stress
- The social context
If you are suffering from diabetes and you want to take the first step in self-managing your illness, you should know that can succeed only if both, you and your healthcare provider, are properly informed about how to take effective care of your condition. If you know more, you understand better and therefore you’ll have a significant impact on your disease.
Beside theoretical diabetes self-management education which is very important, you should keep in mind to take action and do self-care activities, in order to fully benefit of what you’ve learned. Self-care activities include: following a diet plan, avoiding high-fat foods, increased exercise, self-glucose monitoring, and foot care.
What is most important?
To take care of you and to control your illness.
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