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Q: What does diabetes management include?

Posted November 13, 2013 in Advice Column, Greene County

A: Diabetes management includes many care and educational opportunities for those with diabetes. Services can include care visits, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose therapy, meter uploads and group support opportunities. Patients with gestational diabetes can also receive care to help them have a healthy pregnancy and newborn. A comprehensive diabetes program is designed to educate patients and their families regarding diabetes self management. A majority of diabetes care is self care that occurs in the patient’s home, requiring the patient to have a good understanding of the disease. In order to achieve the best outcomes, patients need to know what they can do to manage their disease and how to prevent potential complications. A person with diabetes is at risk for complications such as heart and blood vessel disease, wounds and amputations, loss of eyesight and dental complications. Patients can reduce their risk of or prevent complications by controlling their blood sugar levels and developing healthy lifestyle behaviors. Diabetes education opportunities allow patients to learn about what diabetes is, how it affects them and self care behaviors needed to improve and maintain their health. Educational sessions normally include time with a dietitian to help with meal planning. Regular follow-up care assists patients in managing their disease, provides additional education and offers support in making behavioral changes. Diabetic educators communicate regularly with the patient’s physician to coordinate their diabetes care. Certified diabetes educators, registered nurses, dietitians and health coaches provide educational services for inpatients, outpatients and nursing home residents.

Information provided by Greene County Medical Center, 515-386-2114, Jefferson.

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