Living with diabetes is a day-in, day-out job. A diabetes disease management program makes the job a little easier by giving you the information and support you need. It helps you take care of yourself and stick to your treatment plan. And in the long run, it may lead to better health and fewer complications.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a disease management program helps you learn essential skills for taking better care of your diabetes. You'll find out what steps you can take to protect your health. With this type of program, this is what you can do:
Get support and guidance. As you learn new ways to manage diabetes, you may need help putting these ideas into action. Whether you have questions about how to take your medications or lose weight, talk to your health care provider to develop an individualized plan that will work for you.
Take an active role in your care. A disease management program also helps you work closely with your health care provider. You're encouraged to speak up and get involved.
Get help with setting goals. Get advice on practical strategies for making healthy behavior changes, such as eating better and exercising more. Disease management programs are designed to track your health over time. You and your health care provider can get a more complete picture of how you're doing and where improvements can be made so that you can reach your goals successfully.
A disease management program sounds like a good thing, but you might be wondering whether it really works. Research shows that these programs are successful. In fact, participation in a disease management program has been strongly recommended as a way to reduce health problems caused by diabetes. The approach used by these programs can help improve blood glucose control and screening for diabetic complications.
Having diabetes will never be easy. But a good program can give you the tools to make the challenges more manageable.