Diabetes education is a crucial part of a treatment plan. Diabetes education focuses on ways to incorporate disease management principles into your daily life and minimize your dependence on a health care provider.
Diabetes educators have identified three levels of diabetes education:
Basic disease management includes the knowledge and skills that a person who is newly diagnosed with diabetes must master before leaving the hospital or health care provider's office. These skills include:
Home management skills will help you better control your disease and may prevent complications. These skills include:
After you learn the basic principles of diabetes care and establish a routine (which can take several months), you may be interested in learning more about diabetes. Topics may include:
It's a good idea to review diabetes information every year, because there is constantly new research and improved ways to treat the disease.
A certified diabetes educator (CDE) is an excellent resource for information on diabetes. This person is usually a nurse or pharmacist. Often, the diabetes educator can help you develop a management plan based on your:
Some medical centers offer diabetes clinics that specialize in helping patients with diabetes. These clinics often combine the resources of several experts in diabetes management, including a:
These clinics also are a good source of information for people with diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation offer several pamphlets and brochures about diabetes. For information on educational programs and seminars, contact:
See diabetes support groups for a list of several educational and supportive resources.