By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFNC
Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes are not offered the education they need to manage their diabetes. They may have never heard of Certified Diabetes Educators, or CDEs.
WORK WITH A CDE
CDEs are health care professionals who have passed a certification exam and have years of experience working with people who have diabetes. They provide hours of diabetes education to people who have diabetes, in group classes and one on one. Many insurance companies, including Medicare, will pay for this service because they understand the importance of diabetes education to help people prevent complications of diabetes. If you have not been referred to a CDE or a diabetes education program, ask your health care provider to point you in the right direction. Find a CDE near you by contacting the American Association of Diabetes Educators toll-free at 800-338-3633 or online at diabeteseducator.org.
MAKE CHANGES THAT LAST
Having diabetes means you should live a healthy lifestyle. You may think this means you need to make a lot of changes at one time, such as choosing healthier foods, eating less, being more active, losing weight and many other changes. You may be like many people who have made changes, but the changes didn’t last for long. It’s easy to fall back into old habits. It’s best to work on one change at a time. So make one change and continue it for at least three weeks. By this time it should be a new habit for you. Then add something new. For example, perhaps you weigh more than you should, you avoid eating breakfast every day and live a sedentary lifestyle. Change by choosing to eat breakfast every day. Do it every day for 21 days, and by then it should be a habit. Now, add one more change, such as taking a half-hour walk every day. Continue that and having breakfast for 21 days, then add another change. In time you’ll truly be living a healthier lifestyle.
KNOW YOUR ABCS
Managing your diabetes is more than knowing and managing your blood glucose. It is just as important for you to also know and manage your A1C, Blood pressure and Cholesterol levels.