7 Things Certified Diabetes Educators Want You to Know About Managing Diabetes

Taking care of yourself is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes.

 

It often involves making changes to your diet and lifestyle, developing a workout plan, taking your medications, and monitoring your blood sugar level throughout the day.

 

While managing diabetes can feel overwhelming at first, a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) can help set you up for success.

 

More commonly known as certified diabetes educators, these healthcare professionals specialize in educating, supporting, and promoting self-management of diabetes.

 

Certified diabetes educators work alongside people with diabetes to create customized goals that may help improve both care and health outlook.

 

Given their training and expertise, certified diabetes educators have unique insight to share about the condition. Here are the top things they want people to know about managing type 2 diabetes.

 

1. Setting realistic goals can help you stay on track


Keeping your blood sugar levels at a healthy level when you have type 2 diabetes may require you to make changes to your diet and lifestyle.

 

Figuring out exactly which changes you want to make can help you overcome obstacles along the way.

 

“Goal setting is a big part of successful diabetes self-care,” said Kerri Doucette, a certified diabetes educator and diabetes nurse specialist at Glytec, an insulin management software company.

 

The goals should be challenging yet realistically achievable. They should also be specific, so you know exactly what you’re working toward.

 

For example, a goal like “exercise more” is somewhat vague and hard to measure. A more concrete goal, such as “take a 30-minute bike ride 4 days per week,” helps you align your focus and make progress.

 

And if a particularly busy week is making it hard to achieve your goal, give yourself the flexibility to make adjustments, advised Doucette. The key is to figure out what you can realistically accomplish — then set a plan to make it happen.

 

“Be gentle on yourself when you need to be, but continue to work on smaller, more realistic goals for achieving a healthy lifestyle when life gets tough,” said Doucette.

 

2. Weight loss takes patience


Losing between 5 percent and 10 percent of your overall body weight can help make your blood sugar levels more manageable and potentially reduce your need for diabetes medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.

 

While you might want to change the number on the scale as quickly as possible, patience is key when it comes to weight loss, Doucette said.

 

“Rapid weight loss strategies may not be a long-term solution for maintaining your weight loss,” Doucette said. “Most patients I have worked with over the years were able to keep the weight off much longer when they lost weight slowly and steadily.”

 

People who lose weight gradually tend to have more success maintaining a healthy weigh in the long term, per the CDCTrusted Source.

 

That generally means about 1 to 2 pounds per week, but you can work with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to develop an individualized weight loss plan.

 

Read the full article here:  https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/tips-from-diabetes-educators#weight-loss-takes-patience