How to Educate Diabetic Patients

Educating Diabetic Patients – Overview

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for diabetes, and the intensity and number of symptoms vary considerably between people.

Educating people about the diabetes epidemic is critical because it is a growing concern for many folks worldwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 38.4 million Americans living with diabetes and 8.7 million of them are unaware they have the disease. A quarter of them is unaware that they have the disease.

It is essential to educate patients on why they must pay attention to their body’s signals to maintain optimal metabolic health.

They also need to know that symptoms of diabetes, primarily type 2, can vary because it affects every cell in the body. The following topics should be the basis of your education.

What Are The Causes Of Diabetes

Different factors can cause diabetes, but the following are the most common factors.

  • Family history and genes
  • Contributing factors to diabetes include genetics, lifestyle factors, and certain medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly; however, hyperthyroidism is less directly linked to causing diabetes but can affect blood sugar levels
  • Pancreatitis
  • Certain medications

Different Types of Diabetes

There are primarily three different forms of diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Even though type 1 diabetes can start at any age, it is most common in kids and teens. Its main characteristic is a lack of insulin production, necessitating daily insulin injections to keep blood glucose levels in check.

You can make diabetes management for your child easier by getting medical insurance that covers diabetic treatment.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults in the United States.

It is possible to get type 2 diabetes if your body does not correctly utilize its insulin.

The most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes is lifestyle modifications that include physical activity and a healthful diet.

Many people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications, insulin, or both at some point in their treatment to manage blood glucose levels, as outlined by the American Diabetes Association, but the approach can vary based on individual health needs.

Gestational Diabetes (GDM)

Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is a condition characterized by high blood glucose levels that are first recognized during pregnancy. It can lead to difficulties for both the mother and the unborn child.

After pregnancy, gestational diabetes usually fades, but women who have it and their children are more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes later.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Diabetes

As earlier stated, the intensity of diabetes symptoms varies from one person to the next. However, the following are the most common of them.

  • Blurred vision
  • Body shakes
  • Bruises or any other skin infections that take too long to heal
  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Tingling sensation on the hands, arms, legs and feet
  • Too much thirst

Diabetes Management Strategies

Diabetes has no cure. However, with self-care and great management strategies, anyone with the disease can live a long healthy life.

Here are the basic self-care strategies for diabetes management.

1. Eat A Healthy Diabetic-Friendly Diet

Diet is one of the most frustrating aspects of diabetes self-management. Creating a diet plan that will not spike your blood sugar levels is not an easy task.

Fortunately, you can use various diabetic-friendly diets without worrying about negative consequences.

Among the most effective are the vegetarian diet, The Mediterranean Diet, The Low-Carb Diet, The Zone Diet, The Paleo Diet, and The Alkaline Diet, to name a few examples.

You can also consult with a registered dietitian competent in diabetes-specific nutrition.

When it comes to controlling blood sugar levels, dietary changes alone are not enough for some people.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management, and while it can lead to complications over time, ‘degenerative’ is not the typical term used to describe its progression.

The American Diabetes Association recommends medication and nutrition therapy to achieve blood sugar targets.

1. Practice Portion Control

Even if you feel too hungry to eat more, you should refrain. Measure or weigh your food into fitting portions to avoid spiking your glucose levels by overeating.

Half of your plate should have proteins and fiber-rich veggies in every meal.

2. Exercise More

When you have diabetes, physical movement is preferable to nothing. Choose activities you enjoy and gradually increase your participation to grow healthy habits.

In addition to helping your body lose weight, exercise has the added benefit of naturally lowering blood sugar levels.

Final Thoughts

Diabetes management boils down to two things: self-care and awareness. You can accomplish this by adopting a healthier way of life, including consuming nutritious food portions.

Count your carbs to ensure you do not exceed your carb limit, and ensure that every meal you eat contains a good balance of fiber-rich vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and various starches to keep your blood sugar stable.

In addition, you should increase your physical activity, eat mindfully, drink plenty of water, and coordinate your medications with your diet.

See Also

Diabetes Mellitus Clinical Trials

Financial Help for Child With Type 1 Diabetes

Government Grants for Diabetics

DHHS Grant Program

Grants for Physicians

Best Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Loan Forgiveness for Doctors

Physicians for a National Health Program

Best States for Family Physicians

Current Version
May 12, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 23, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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