Diabetes & The Importance of Self-Management Education

diabetes educationDiabetes self-management is a continuing process in the healthcare field. This is due to the amount of knowledge, skill and abilities the diabetic needs regarding how important self-care is. Diabetes self-management guidelines should fall within the scope of one’s overall goals and life experiences. Objectives vary depending upon the individual. Diabetes self-management practitioners support the various decisions that diabetics make regarding the aims they having in improving their blood glucose levels and their quality of life.

Diabetes self-management is essentially self-empowerment to get the diabetic to take better care of themselves. This can be daunting initially, yet diabetes self-management seeks to put the diabetic in charge while allowing them to make small, gradual steps towards incorporating the needed changes. There are seven survival skills that fall under diabetes self-management that include:

1. Healthy eating – as has been noted in many cases, there is no such thing as a diet for the diabetic. This is a misnomer in the sense that the diabetic just has to understand the importance of a balanced eating regimen in order to maintain an optimum blood sugar level and to ensure they are eating the right amount of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats.

2. Exercise – fitness is always recommended for anyone, not just a diabetic. Weight management is vital to a diabetic and exercise allows them to control their weight while being active. Even a walk in the park will allow the diabetic to start self-managing.

3. Monitoring – this is perhaps the most imperative skill in diabetes self-management, because the diabetic should know where they are in relation to their aim to have a better life with the disease they have. Diabetics are also recommended to check their blood pressure and weight also.

4. Medication – some diabetics need medication in spite of an improved diet and vigorous exercise. Understanding how medication works in conjunction with the body will save the diabetic a lot of hassle down the road. There are some alternative medications that may also be beneficial in lowering and keeping blood sugar levels to a minimum to avoid further complications.

5. Problem Solving – know your body. Identifying the best approaches to keeping your blood glucose levels at a neutral stage is essential. Having a plan is equally essential. Consider the potential complications that may result from you having diabetes and understand how best to control them.

6. Reducing risks – this works in accordance with the fifth skill in reducing the possibilities of complications from diabetes. Actions such as stopping smoking and having the regular necessary exams at the doctor will ensure that no further complications arise.

7. Coping with the disease – health status and quality of life are affected by mental and social factors such as depression, financial issues and unemployment. When motivation is minimal, keeping one’s commitment is not always the easiest. When problems seem impossible to overcome, coping with diabetes of either type can be difficult. There are many different types of stress management skills that can be incorporated into the diabetic’s daily routine in order to keep their motivation high. A strong support system and regular contact with a health care provider will ensure that they are building the necessary coping mechanisms to function and have a healthy life.

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