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True or false: Many people with diabetes are too lazy to manage it properly.
The answer is false, according to Dr. Paul Rosman, endocrinologist and past president of the American Diabetes Association’s Ohio Chapter, this is not true.
“The most common approach is for people to work very hard at managing their diabetes,” says Dr. Rosman. “But people don’t understand how to categorize diabetes data into manageable pieces in order to sustain a happy life with diabetes.
Dr. Rosman recently worked with DiabetesDaily.com, a leading online resource for people with diabetes, to launch “Workshop for Better Blood Sugars” through Diabetes Daily University. This new online diabetes education course provides patients with the fundamental knowledge and know-how to use information about their diabetes in the most effective way. The course demonstrates how to make active behavior changes based on data and arms course participants with the tools to achieve sustainable success.
Dr. Rosman has identified five critical components of successful blood glucose management to help people with diabetes navigate all measurements and data they obtain – and avoid diabetes information overload.
1. Know where to start. It’s overwhelming to see a sheet of paper filled with blood sugar readings. Keep things small and manageable to stay focused. Start by recognizing when you have good numbers.
2. Use your best to fix the rest. It’s easier to extend the good parts of the day than it is to fix high and low blood sugars after they happen. When numbers go from good to bad, figure out what happened. Was it exercise? Eating more carbohydrates than expected? A stressful conversation with family (which can raise blood sugars quickly)?
3. Identify roller coaster blood sugars. Look for periods when your blood sugars go up and down like a rollercoaster. What events happened to trigger the pattern? If you have a low blood sugar followed by a high blood sugar, be careful of taking too much medicine to treat it. Once you have had one low blood sugar, you are very susceptible to another later in the day.
4. Recognize the warning signs of burnout. Excellent blood glucose management routines can be sidetracked by seemingly small incidents. Watch out for scheduled changes in life events, like adjusting work and sleep schedules, the transition between seasons or major life events-like holidays, weddings, birthdays, etc. These things can all derail good management and lead to burnout if you are not prepared.
5. Understand your doctor’s checklist and articulate your problem/concern in his terms. Expectations for the outcome of a doctor’s appointment are glaringly different for a doctor versus a patient. Legally, doctors need to meet certain standards and even have a checklist of things they need to accomplish, while the patient is often looking for answers or worried about disapproval. Tell your doctor you know they have a list of things to accomplish during your visit, but that you also need their help with a specific problem. This sets the agenda in advance and ensures that your needs are also met.
Patients can access in depth course content and take advantage of group and one-on-one support by registering for “Workshop for Better Blood Sugars” online at university.diabetesdaily.com.
Published: January 26, 2012 – Volume 10 – Issue 41