By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, CDCES, PHN
Diabetes is one of the
Top-10 leading causes of death for people living in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018,
27 million doctor office visits were made by people who had diabetes as their primary medical diagnosis.
But did you know, it does NOT have to be this way? There is a lot you can
do to help control your diabetes.
Keeping your blood glucose under better control and “in-range”
can help prevent many of the acute (sudden) and chronic (long-term) complications
that can come from having diabetes.
Regardless of what type of diabetes you have, if you need help controlling
your blood glucose, speak with your physician about getting a referral
to schedule a visit with us at the Torrance Memorial Outpatient Specialty
Center in our Diabetes Care office for diabetes self-management training.
When you visit us for your training, which is also called, diabetes self-management
education and support (DSMES) we will work you in a one-on-one basis at
your initial visit, to determine your diabetes care needs and discuss
your goals regarding managing your diabetes.
Our diabetes care staff are RNs (registered nurses) and RDNs (registered
dietician nutritionists) and are board-certified in providing diabetes
care and education.
Our focus is to help you identify ways to reach your diabetes self-care
goals in an individualized way, while also considering your daily habits
and lifestyle values as part of your plan for self-care.
After your first visit with us, you can also attend our group classes as
part of your ongoing diabetes education, to help further sharpen your
diabetes self-management skills.
Our group classes meet once per week, for four weeks, and last approximately
two-hours each session. Each class is taught by one of our diabetes educators,
who provides you with four more weeks of valuable diabetes self-management
insight and education.
Whether you have Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, or Gestational Diabetes,
we are here to help you. Here is an overview of what we do:
We’ll show you how your diet can greatly impact your blood glucose
(blood sugar). We’ll talk about the importance of counting carbohydrates
(carbs), and having an awareness of what you eat, when you eat, along
with portion sizes. All of these can help keep your blood glucose under control.
We’ll share with you the latest guidance on exercise and how daily
exercise is another important tool in your toolbox, to help you better
manage your blood glucose.
Whether you’re on one diabetes medication or several, we’ll
teach you about the importance of taking your medications as prescribed
and in the way they were designed to work. We’ll discuss how the
correct timing of diabetes medications can help them work better –
so you get the maximum benefit from each of them, to help you achieve
better blood glucose control.
Self-Monitoring your Blood Glucose
Self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) is key in helping you get to know
your body. You’ll see how your foods, medications and exercise habits
affect your blood glucose in real-time. If you are already SMBG, great.
If not, we will teach you how.
Healthy Coping Strategies and Stress Management
Stress is a part of life. But a high level of stress can cause your blood
glucose to go up. So, learning how to manage your stress in healthy ways,
is an essential part of your diabetes self-care plan to help you control
your blood glucose.
At one time or another, most people face problems with their diabetes self-management
along with other parts of their daily lives.
Challenges can change over time and may seem frustrating. Problems with
diabetes self-management may be minimal for some people, while for others
there can be many.
- Lack of time to engage in diabetes self-care (exercise, SMBG, eating healthy)
- Financial burdens that prevent you from getting medications and/or supplies
- Family and/or friends that discourage you from eating healthy or exercising
We’ll highlight some affective ways to solve diabetes self-care problems,
so when they strike, you’ll feel better prepared to take them on
and problem solve.
We look forward to helping you learn how to better manage your diabetes
and hope to see you soon.