Get tips to help you manage diabetes so you can stay healthy longer.
November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country focus on diabetes. This year’s theme, “Take Charge of Tomorrow,” is to encourage people with diabetes to take charge of their health to prevent complications of diabetes.
The following blog posts contain advice and research on working with patients to manage diabetes. You can also share videos, flyers, and other resources from your National Diabetes Month webpage or online toolkit. These resources include tips for patients.
Build healthy lifestyle habits
Manage the ABCs of diabetes (A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol)
take medicine on time
reach or maintain a healthy weight
take care of their mental health
Collaborate with your medical team
All people with diabetes need ongoing self-management education and support
Research has shown that diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) improves A1C levels and has positive effects on other clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral aspects of diabetes. Margaret (Maggie) Powers, Ph.D., RD, CDE, a clinician and research scientist at the International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet in Minneapolis, explains how.
“Our goal is to DSMES joint position statement “Our aim was to provide clear guidance on four key times when people with type 2 diabetes may need to pay more attention to their diabetes self-management,” says Dr. Powers. “The aim was to encourage healthcare professionals to assess, deliver and adjust DSMES. This avoids crisis management and supports people with diabetes to make decisions with peace of mind and confidence.”
Addressing beliefs and perceptions to improve medication adherence
In this interview on medication adherence, Dr. Olinka O. Siyambola explains how healthcare professionals can help people with diabetes reframe their negative beliefs and perceptions to better manage their A1C levels. To do.
“Many of the beliefs people have about medications and diabetes are culturally influenced, based on what they learn from family and friends,” says Dr. Siyambola. “Much misinformation can be avoided if health care providers take the time to integrate the biomedical model of diabetes causes and biological knowledge about drugs with patients’ cultural beliefs and perceptions. Building trust is also important. Without a therapeutic alliance with health care providers, patients may go home without trusting the prescribed medications. Speaking clearly is the bridge that builds trust.”
Obesity management in diabetic patients
Approaches to managing obesity in diabetic patients can be made much more difficult due to metabolic changes. In this video, Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, discusses recommendations and resources that health care professionals can use to address obesity and weight management in patients with diabetes.
“One of the things we often hear from clinicians is that they are ready to counsel patients about obesity and weight management, but are afraid they are putting patients off or are unsure how to begin counseling them. “They’re worried about the way they talk, the way they broach sensitive topics,” says Dr. Kahan. “I have very straightforward advice on that: Start by getting permission. Ask the patient if they are comfortable talking about their weight during that visit.”
Helping diabetics manage stress
Healthcare professionals can support patient health by sharing tools and strategies to reduce stress. In this post, Dr. Crystal M. Lewis talks about how health care professionals can help people with diabetes manage stress.
“Health care professionals can talk with patients about the effects of stress on health and why it’s important to manage stress,” says Dr. Lewis. “They can have conversations with patients about the stressors they may be experiencing and help them find ways to cope with stress. Health care professionals can help patients understand that everyone experiences stress. It is important to make people aware of stress, to make it less stigmatizing and to normalize the experience.”
Collaborative care of patients with diabetes
It’s often said that collaboration between healthcare professionals can improve patient care, but what does this actually mean? In this video blog post, Joshua Joseph, MD, MPH, FAHA, , are speaking with colleagues at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Janet G. Zappe, MD, MSc, CDCES, and Alan Sommer, MD, ACSM, about the team’s medical services. A multidisciplinary program to help patients manage their diabetes.
“Diabetes is a complex disease, and successfully managing patients requires multiple strategies, including medications and lifestyle modifications,” says Dr. Joseph. “A teamwork approach to diabetes care can be more effective in helping people cope with the demands of controlling diabetes. is a shared goal within and across settings to provide coordinated, high-quality, patient-centered care.”
How do you work with patients to prevent diabetes complications? Please share in the comments below.