Managing diabetes is no small feat, it takes a team approach. Diabetes management is not just about controlling your blood sugars. Your diabetic care team’s goal is to assist you in reaching your individual goals and maintaining or achieving your best health, every step of the way, with several educational opportunities.
Who are the members of your diabetic self-management team? Susan Rouzer RDN, CD, is a registered dietician who can assist you with nutritional goals related to diabetes, weight management, blood pressure, and cholesterol control as well as provide you with diabetes self-management education. Jamie McCready RN, BSN, is a registered nurse with specific training surrounding the medical management and knowledge of diabetic patients. Our pharmacist, who provides support to your primary care provider, the diabetic nurse, and to you regarding medication understanding and to help find the right treatment plan for you. Your primary care provider and their assisting staff are your front line go-to crew for management of all your health care needs. Finally, YOU and your support system (spouse, parents, siblings, and friends) are essential players on this team. Together we can achieve great things. For more information about diabetic self-management, please click here:
Diabetic self-management education can reduce your A1C by up to 1% which means this reduces your diabetes-related death by 25% and your risk of heart attack by 18%. According to the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators Individuals you participate in education are more likely to continue with needed follow up appointments, take medications regularly, make healthful eating patterns, including regular physical activity into daily life, have healthy coping, improved quality of life, reduced hospital admissions, and reduced healthcare costs.
Other individuals may be asked to be a part of the team dependent on your individual health needs or concerns. These team members could be:
- An endocrinologist – This is a medical doctor who specializes in the endocrine system (the glands and hormones) which includes diabetes.
- A Cardiologist – This is a medical provider who specializes in heart disease.
- A Podiatrist – This is a medical provider who specializes in the treatment and management of the feet.
- An Ophthalmologist – This is a medical provider who specializes in the treatment of eye health, disorders or diseases of the eye.
- Mental health professional
Your team will assist you with managing proven elements of your health and lifestyle to achieve your best health. The team will discuss and educate you about goals related to nutrition, physical activity, sleep, behavioral support, and smoking cessation which address and affect health topics like blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular risks.
Education and support don’t have to start when you receive the diagnosis of diabetes; you can start with Preventing T2 education. Preventing T2 is sponsored by Cumberland Healthcare and accredited by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The program utilizes CDC proven curriculum and goals. Preventing T2 is an interactive educational group focused on assisting participates to achieve health goals and to start or maintain healthy habits in a group setting. This unique group provides you with support and accountability to the group as well as yourself.
The classes run for a full year, starting with an information session, then frequent meetings which taper down throughout the 12 months. This program has been proven to bring about behavioral changes that are sustainable holding you accountable for your goals. There is a small fee for class materials and may be able to be reimbursed by your insurance provider. To qualify for Preventing T2, you need to have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or have risk factors for diabetes. To access a diabetes screening tool, please follow the link below.
Prediabetes Screening Tool
The biggest questions we get during education is what can I and can’t I eat and how much. Our registered dietician will assist you with this one on one. Your educator will be able to provide you with nutritional tips that are easy to start and maintain in your busy life. Please visit our nutrition/weight loss link on the left for more information about this part of the program. To assist you with your diabetic diet needs, please follow this link for diabetic-friendly meals and recipes. American Diabetes Association Diabetes Food Hub:
Diabetic Program Goals:
A1C less than 7%
Blood pressure less than 140/90mmHg
Pre-meal/fasting blood sugar 80-130mg/dl
2 hours post-meal goal of less than 180mg/dl
LDL (“bad” cholesterol) lower than 100mg/dl
HDL (“good” cholesterol) Men: higher than 40mg/dl and Women: higher than 50mg/dl
Triglycerides lower than 150mg/dl
Weight within a healthy range for height and build
It is recommended to have regular follow-up appointments with your primary care provider regarding diabetes management. Follow-up should occur at least annually, but often bi-annually. This frequency will be different for each patient, and some may be more frequently dependent on an individual’s needs.
Diabetic symptoms are often hard to notice, so it is necessary for you to tell your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following:
• Excessive Hunger
• Excessive Thirst
• Frequent Urination
• Weight Loss
• Blurry Vision
• Frequent Headaches
• Slow Healing Wounds
• Numbness and Tingling in Hands and Feet
• Skin Infections
• Erectile Dysfunction
You should be particularly aware of these symptoms if you are overweight, are rarely physically active, have a close relative with diabetes or are of Native American, Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic or Asian descent.
To help people learn more about diabetes prevention, control, and treatment, Cumberland Healthcare offers community members education and self-management tips through the Diabetes Self Management Program. The goal of this program is to provide community members with the tools and skills needed to maintain a healthy life. Topics include blood sugar control through self-monitoring, nutrition, and exercise habits. For more information, click HERE.
To learn more about our diabetic services, call 715-822-7182.
For more information on diabetes research, news, definitions, statistics, recipes, and nutrition, visit www.diabetes.org.