Diabetes is difficult. It imposes life-long demands on people with diabetes, requiring them to make multiple decisions related to managing their condition. People with diabetes should know how to monitor their blood glucose and act on their results by adjusting exercise, meals and medication to achieve a balance. As outcomes are largely based on the decisions they take, it is very important that people with diabetes receive ongoing, high-quality diabetes education that is tailored to their needs and delivered by skilled health professionals.
Without diabetes education, people with diabetes are less prepared to make informed decisions, make behavioural changes, address the psychosocial issues presented by diabetes and, ultimately, may not know how to manage their diabetes effectively. Poor management will result in reduced health outcomes and an increased likelihood of developing complications.
Health outcomes are largely dependent on the person with diabetes. The decisions that are made each day largely determine a person’s long term health and outcomes.
There are 3 fundamental principles of diabetes management:
- Diabetes is a disease managed by the person living with it.
- People have the right and responsibility to make informed decisions about their care. People are more likely to be motivated to make and sustain changes when they have decided what changes to make.
- Providers serve as educators, consultants and collaborators to people who make the ultimate decisions about their self-management. Managing diabetes does not mean that everything is done perfectly to manage it. Rather, it means that people are able to make informed choices that are consistent with the realities of their lives, priorities and values.