November 1, 2011
Diabetes Self-Education – An Important Tool
Self-education is one of the best tools for managing diabetes. The doctors do not have the time necessary and some do not have certified diabetes educators (CDEs) available even for referral. Often the doctors do not even have a registered dietitian available that specializes in diabetes. Many, but not all of us, have had less than favorable experiences with CDEs and others, so do be careful.
Self-education is key for people to manage diabetes effectively and studies are showing that this works. My blog here with its link shows that education does work in reducing A1c's. This is just one of several studies that is receiving little attention or publication because writers cannot make it sexy enough to draw attention to it.
My second blog here is about foot care and why it is so important. However, without education, many people continue to ignore the consequences of unmanaged diabetes. Amputation is becoming a thriving money maker for many surgeons and the patients have only themselves to blame in many cases.
Another tool in the education arsenal is peer-to-peer groups. It has been shown that there is a need for these groups. The results they accomplish in reducing A1c's are positive. David Mendosa has an excellent blog about this as part of his reports from the Medicine 2.0 conference at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.
There are several of us with type 2 diabetes that occasional get together and exchange ideas and discuss what we have been reading. No, not a support group, but a few of us that do research and study about diabetes. We exchange emails and compare notes about different articles, press releases, and technologies to aid in our management of diabetes. An informal peer-to-peer group at best, but it has helped us in managing our diabetes more effectively.
That is also the reason for discussing the types of patients in previous blogs, here and here. This makes people more aware of what education can do to make us. Education make us more knowledgeable and assists us in making good decisions to manage our diabetes. With this now being diabetes awareness month, keep focused on education. The more education, the easier advocacy becomes and for some even activism.