Diabetes Management: Why Is It Important? - Southside Medical Center (2022)

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can cause you to become fatigued, feel extreme hunger, and experience other more serious problems over time. If you do not manage this disease, you could develop more serious complications like vision problems, dementia, and kidney issues. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, we can help you learn how to use diabetes management methods to decrease your chances of developing diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes Management: Why Is It Important?

Diabetes mellitus is used to describe several diseases that negatively impact your body’s ability to process sugar. These illnesses include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both of these types of diabetes can lead to excessively high amounts of sugar in your blood.

This excess sugar can cause you to develop a number of serious health issues. As a result, controlling this illness will reduce your health risks and provide you with a number of other significant benefits.

Reduce Your Risk of Vision Loss

If you have uncontrolled diabetes for a long period of time, you will have a higher risk of experiencing eye problems. In particular, diabetes can cause the blood vessels in your retinas to become damaged. This problem is called diabetic retinopathy, and it can cause you to become blind. In addition to this problem, having diabetes can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and other vision issues.

Decrease Your Dementia Risk

Having uncontrolled diabetes will heighten your risk of developing dementia when you are older. Although scientists do not completely understand the link between diabetes and dementia, evidence suggests that this risk may increase if you do not control your blood sugar levels. As a result, you might be able to improve your chance of having a higher quality of life in your later years if you maintain good control of your blood sugar.

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Improve Your Overall Health

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause you to experience a number of frustrating symptoms that will interfere with your daily activities. For example, you might feel constantly tired and have to go to the bathroom very frequently. In addition, your wounds may heal very slowly, and you might have frequent bladder infections.

Controlling your diabetes is likely to improve your energy levels and decrease your bladder problems. Fixing these symptoms can help you complete tasks at your job and enjoy social events with your friends and family members.

Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels

It’s very important to keep your blood sugar levels within your medical provider’s recommended range. If your blood sugar becomes excessively high, you could become hyperglycemic. This problem can cause you to have urinary issues, headaches, blurred vision, and other problems. If your blood sugar becomes too low, you might become hypoglycemic. This problem can cause you to become shaky, tired, and irritable.

What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes.

Type One Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when your body does not produce enough insulin. When you are healthy, your pancreas will provide adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin is a type of hormone that controls the amount of glucose in your blood. This hormone helps your body convert sugar into energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas will not create enough insulin.

Your lack of insulin will prevent glucose from leaving your bloodstream and moving into your cells. As a result, the amount of sugar in your blood will become too high, and you can develop serious medical problems. This type of diabetes often develops very quickly. Although it’s common to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when you are a child or teenager, it is also possible to develop this problem when you are older.

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Type Two Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is likely to develop slowly over a longer period of time. Further, you might not have symptoms if you have this type of diabetes. You may discover that you have this problem when you begin to experience diabetes-related complications.

Type 2 diabetes can develop when your pancreas does not create adequate amounts of insulin. You can also develop this problem when your cells become resistant to insulin.

Gestational Diabetes

Going through a pregnancy can cause you to become diabetic. When you become pregnant, the hormones in your body will change. These changes may impair your body’s ability to control the amount of sugar in your blood. You will be more likely to experience this problem if you were overweight before you became pregnant.

Although this condition is likely to go away after you give birth, developing gestational diabetes indicates that you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As a result, you might need to get your blood sugar tested in the future.

How Can I Learn How to Manage My Diabetes?

Managing your diabetes can be a very challenging endeavor. When you are first diagnosed with this disease, you may feel overwhelmed as you learn how to make diet and lifestyle changes, take your prescribed medications, and use other techniques to control this illness. In addition, as you continue to manage your diabetes, you may struggle to stick with your new diet and lifestyle program.

Taking a Class

Fortunately, you don’t have to manage your diabetes on your own. At Southside Medical Center, we offer diabetes management classes that can help you learn how to control your illness in a supportive, caring environment. During your classes, we will provide you with more information about common management tools, like making dietary changes, participating in an exercise program, and using blood sugar monitoring methods.

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Learning Coping Strategies

In addition to learning more about lifestyle changes, our classes can help you cope with the emotional issues that are related to your diabetes. For example, you might learn how to manage your illness-related stress. Further, we can teach you about mindful eating practices that will help you follow a balanced, healthy diet.

Visiting Your Doctor

Although our classes will provide you with many useful strategies and techniques, it’s important to understand that your body is unique. As a result, the techniques that work for other people may not be the best way to control your diabetes. For example, different techniques may be used to manage type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

While you are attending our classes, you will need to continue seeing your primary care provider on a regular bias. This person can use specialized techniques to monitor your health and give you individualized management advice.

What Techniques Can I Use to Control My Diabetes?

Your ideal management methods will depend on the type of diabetes that you have, your general health, and other factors. As a result, you should talk to your doctor about the management methods that could work for you. That said, there are a number of general management techniques that are used to treat many different types of diabetes.

Use Medication

Medications can play a key role in your diabetes management strategy. In particular, it’s common to use insulin to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. Your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions about how to test your blood sugar and administer your insulin.

To control your illness, you should carefully follow all of these instructions. In addition, you will need to store your insulin away from intense heat. Further, you should never use expired insulin.

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Change Your Diet

When you have diabetes, it’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In general, you should try to eat plenty of healthy fats and meat, and vegetables, with fruits in moderation. These foods have lots of nutrients and low amounts of calories and fat. In addition to eating these healthy foods, you should try not to have too many sugary foods and refined carbohydrates and starches.

Your healthcare provider may also advise you to count the number of carbohydrates in your meals. Since carbohydrates will affect the amount of glucose in your blood, you will need to be especially careful about this part of your diet if you use insulin to manage your diabetes. We can provide you more information about meal planning and healthy eating tips during our diabetes management classes.

Get More Exercise

Exercise can be a very good way to control your diabetes and improve your general health. When you engage in exercise, your body will use sugar to power your muscles. This will lower your blood sugar and help you control your illness. In addition, exercising will enable your body to become more sensitive to insulin. As your sensitivity increases, your body will be able to use less insulin to control your sugar levels.

Before you begin exercising, you should get permission from your healthcare provider. Your provider may also be able to recommend a plan that will help you improve your body in a fun, enjoyable way. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, your provider may advise you to begin with a gentle exercise program and gradually increase the intensity of your routine. For example, you could start by walking, gardening, or swimming a couple of times a week.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking cigarettes will make it much more difficult for you to manage your diabetes. When you smoke, your heart and blood vessels will have increased difficulty moving your blood throughout your body. Further, if you have type 2 diabetes, you will probably need to use more insulin to control your glucose levels if you smoke. Quitting smoking can correct these problems and improve your ability to manage your disease.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

When you are very stressed or upset, your body may have increased difficulty controlling the amount of sugar in your blood. If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar may rise if you go through a stressful event. If you have type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar could decrease or increase. These changes can damage your health and cause negative symptoms.

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Managing your stress levels can help you regulate your glucose levels. A therapist or other healthcare professional can help you learn coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with stressful events. In addition, meditating or practicing yoga may help you control your mood and manage your emotions.

Manage Your Diabetes

Managing your diabetes is a great way to reduce fatigue, bladder problems, and other diabetes symptoms. In addition, controlling your diabetes can reduce your chances of experiencing vision problems, dementia, and other serious medical issues. If you are interested in taking a diabetes management class, you should contact us at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

FAQs

What is the importance of diabetes management? ›

It's important to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible to help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Staying in your target range can also help improve your energy and mood.

What is the importance of diabetes education centers? ›

Such programs are essential in helping individuals with diabetes to understand the importance of proper blood sugar control. People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations.

Why is it important to take care of diabetes as soon as you are diagnosed? ›

“Treating diabetes early is important because it puts patients' health on a trajectory for the rest of their lives,” Laiteerapong said. “It's not that you can't improve your blood sugar levels later, but if you don't start early, you have to work that much harder to stay healthy.”

What is the role of the nurse in diabetes management? ›

The medical professionals who help diabetic patients monitor and manage their condition are known as diabetes management nurses. They provide information to patients and, in some cases, the patient's family members, to help them make educated health decisions with a goal of diabetes self-management.

What is diabetes care management? ›

Make a commitment to managing your diabetes

Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine. Maintain a healthy weight. Monitor your blood sugar, and follow your health care provider's instructions for managing your blood sugar level. Take your medications as directed by your health care provider.

What is the best management of diabetes? ›

If you can, eating as usual will help you control your blood sugar levels. Keep a supply of foods that are easy on your stomach, such as gelatin, crackers, soups and applesauce. Drink lots of water or other fluids that don't add calories, such as tea, to make sure you stay hydrated.

What are the key aims of a diabetes self-management program? ›

The overall objectives of DSME are to support informed decision making, self-care behaviors, problem solving, and active collaboration with the health care team and to improve clinical outcomes, health status, and quality of life.

What is diabetes self-management education and support? ›

Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) provides an evidence-based foundation to empower people with diabetes to navigate self-management decisions and activities. 1. DSMES is a cost-effective tool proven to help improve health behaviors and health outcomes for people with diabetes.

What is diabetes education Program? ›

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) is a 6-week group program for people with type 2 diabetes. The program was developed by Stanford University to help you manage your diabetes symptoms, tiredness, pain, and emotional issues, by helping you learn skills to better manage your diabetes day to day.

What happens if you stop taking diabetes medication? ›

If you stop taking a diabetes medication without consulting your doctor first, your blood sugar will likely return to abnormally high levels. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to serious health consequences over the long term, including: Heart disease. Stroke.

Why do nurses need to know about diabetes? ›

In the hospital, nurses can look for signs that an undiagnosed person might have diabetes. Nurses know that diabetic patients are at higher risk for problems such as infections, disturbed sensory perception and nutritional imbalances. Nurses can identify these problems early and provide the needed care.

How do you educate a diabetic patient? ›

Choose lean and low-fat foods.
  1. Eat unprocessed, high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies.
  2. Bake, broil or grill lean meats.
  3. Use fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt.
  4. Eat as little added sugar as possible each day.
  5. Use less fat and/or oil when cooking and baking.

What are some interventions for diabetes? ›

Interventions include education, coaching, or social support to improve diabetes testing and monitoring, medication adherence, diet, physical activity, or weight management. Community health workers deliver services and program content through one-on-one interactions or group sessions.

What is prevention and management of diabetes mellitus? ›

Fiber-rich foods promote weight loss and lower the risk of diabetes. Eat a variety of healthy, fiber-rich foods, which include: Fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers and fruit from trees. Nonstarchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower.

What is the impact factor of diabetes care? ›

What should a diabetes care plan include? ›

It should include medications, if needed, an eating plan and how to work in physical activity to your day. It may also include what to do if you're not getting to your blood sugar targets. manage your diabetes. Each medication helps manage blood sugar levels in a different way.

Can you manage diabetes without medication? ›

Official answer. Some people can control and manage type 2 diabetes without medicine, but many others will need diabetes medications along with lifestyle changes. If you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your provider may first recommend that you manage your diabetes using lifestyle changes only.

What are the goals of treatment for type 2 diabetes in this patient? ›

The main goals of treatment in type 2 diabetes are to keep your blood sugar levels within your goal range and treat other medical conditions that go along with diabetes (like high blood pressure); it is also very important to stop smoking if you smoke. These measures will reduce your risk of complications.

Why is self-management important in type 2 diabetes? ›

Through good self-management, people with diabetes can improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of developing complications. It can also help to prevent hospital admissions, or make those times when they do need to go into hospital, for whatever reason, a better experience, with a reduced length of stay.

What is self-management in healthcare? ›

Self-management aims to empower people with long-term conditions to take control of their treatment. It is a set of approaches which help you manage your own health. This could be your physical health, mental health or both.

What are the four critical times to evaluate the need for diabetes self-management education and support? ›

Initiate referral to and facilitate participation in DSMES at the 4 critical times: 1) at diagnosis, 2) annually and/or when not meeting treatment targets, 3) when complicating factors develop, and 4) when transitions in life and care occur.

What is self management education? ›

What is Self-Management Education? Self-management education (SME) refers to programs that help people who have ongoing health conditions learn how to live life to the fullest. For many people, this means lives with less stress, more energy, and a greater ability to do the things they want to do.

What are the challenges of diabetes? ›

Personal challenges
  • Cultural beliefs. Adults with T2D and providers reported many cultural beliefs about T2D causation and treatment. ...
  • Lack of resources. ...
  • Lifestyle modification. ...
  • Lack of family support. ...
  • Mental health. ...
  • Clinic resources and quality of care. ...
  • Staff insensitivity. ...
  • Patient engagement barriers.
23 Aug 2019

When do you refer to a diabetes educator? ›

Get a Referral. The American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created a guide to help doctors make referrals to certified diabetes educators. It recommends seeing someone once a year as well as when: You're first diagnosed.

How can you help an employee with diabetes? ›

How to Help Your Employees Manage Diabetes at Work
  1. Bring awareness to diabetes. ...
  2. Educate your management team about diabetes. ...
  3. Make the workplace accommodating for employees with diabetes. ...
  4. Ask your employees how to best support them. ...
  5. Encourage healthy habits for type 2 diabetes management.
14 Nov 2019

Can diabetes be managed? ›

You can manage your diabetes and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day. Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body. Therefore, you will need to manage your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar.

What services does the American Diabetes Association offer? ›

We lead the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fight for those affected by diabetes. We fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes. We deliver services to hundreds of communities. We provide objective and credible information.

Does metformin cause kidney damage? ›

Metformin doesn't cause kidney damage. The kidneys process and clear the medication out of your system through your urine. If your kidneys don't function properly, there's concern that metformin can build up in your system and cause a condition called lactic acidosis.

Do I have to take metformin forever? ›

Will I be on metformin forever? There's no way to know ahead of time how long you will need to be on metformin. If you fall into the high-risk category, you're more likely to be taking it sooner and for longer than those at a lower risk of developing diabetes.

What medicine can replace metformin? ›

Other alternatives to metformin
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone)
  • Nesina (alogliptin)
  • Tanzeum (albiglutide)
  • Jardiance (empagliflozin)
  • Invokana (canagliflozin)
  • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
21 Mar 2022

What are nursing considerations? ›

With medication administration, a nursing consideration would include the following: Are there any reasons why this patient shouldn't have this medication? What will the effect of this medicine be on this patient? Is there anything I need to ask or teach this patient before or after the administration?

Why diabetes is an important topic? ›

Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation. Recent research has also shown a connection between diabetes and dementia, hearing loss, and some forms of cancer. Diabetes increases the risk of early death, and diabetes-related complications can lower quality of life.

How can you prevent diabetes complications? ›

12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications
  1. Choose Carbs Carefully. 1/12. ...
  2. Lose Weight If You Need To. 2/12. ...
  3. Get Enough Sleep. 3/12. ...
  4. Be Active: Exercise and Diabetes. 4/12. ...
  5. Monitor Your Blood Sugar Daily. 5/12. ...
  6. Manage Stress. 6/12. ...
  7. Say No to Salt. 7/12. ...
  8. Heart Disease Risk and Diabetes. 8/12.
6 Mar 2022

What is the role of a certified diabetes educator? ›

A Certified Diabetes Educator is a health professional who specializes in educating, supporting and promoting self-management of diabetes. The intention is to help people living with diabetes and/or prediabetes develop individualized goals to better optimize their care and health outcomes.

What is the essential patient education to prevent the patient from going into DKA again? ›

To reduce your chance of ketoacidosis: Take your insulin and other diabetes medicines on time and in the right dose. If an infection caused your DKA and your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better.

Do diabetes educators improve outcomes? ›

Studies indicate that, when provided by diabetes educators in accredited or recognized diabetes education services, DSMES “is both clinically beneficial and cost-effective,” particularly with repeat educational encounters. In other words, more time spent with diabetes educators leads to better outcomes.

Are diabetes educators in demand? ›

Demand for diabetes educators is projected to increase. The employer base will broaden beyond traditional out- patient venues and extend into industry, retail pharmacy clinics, and community-based organizations.

What is a diabetes nurse educator? ›

What is a diabetes educator nurse? A diabetes educator nurse is a medical professional who helps diabetes patients better understand their condition and how to live with it. When working in this role, you may also educate their guardians or loved ones on the proper care of this group of diseases.

How can u prevent diabetes? ›

Advertisement
  1. Lose extra weight. Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes. ...
  2. Be more physically active. There are many benefits to regular physical activity. ...
  3. Eat healthy plant foods. Plants provide vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in your diet. ...
  4. Eat healthy fats. ...
  5. Skip fad diets and make healthier choices.
25 Jun 2021

What is the most important treatment for DKA? ›

The major treatment of this condition is initial rehydration (using isotonic saline) with subsequent potassium replacement and low-dose insulin therapy.

When should a diabetic go to the hospital? ›

High levels of ketones cause the blood to become more acidic, a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Ketoacidosis can make you very sick if you don't get help. Go to the ER or call 911 right away if you have symptoms of ketoacidosis like: nausea and vomiting.

Videos

1. Medicine Grand Rounds: Optimization of Cardiometabolic Care for Diabetic Patients 10/1/19
(Emory Department of Medicine)
2. Diabetes Awareness - Expert Q&A
(UChicago Medicine)
3. Structural Inequities and Diabetes: Challenges and Solutions presented by Monica Peek, M.D., M.P.H.
(OHSU)
4. Watch How the Alliance is Working to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes
(cmcdumich)
5. Breaking Down Barriers to Diabetes Care
(The Endocrine Society)
6. Mental health coordinator
(Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network)

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