Diabetes: Self Management




Managing Diabetes doesn’t mean indulging in foods you enjoy, An important component of Diabetes Self-Management is reviewing nutrition, meal planning, and exercise, plus counting carbs, planning workouts, and much more.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic progressive metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia mainly due to Type 1 Diabetes mellitus or Type 2 Diabetes mellitus deficiency of insulin hormone. The effects of Diabetes mellitus cover virtually every system of the body, particularly if the condition remains uncontrolled for a prolonged period of time.  Uncontrolled Diabetes is linked with many complications such as cardiovascular diseases, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy, which can lead to chronic morbidities and mortality. 

Also, recent findings reveal that type 2 Diabetes mellitus is becoming more prevalent in developing countries with an earlier onset and complications compared to previously believed to occur only in developed nations. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide are suffering from Diabetes mellitus.  This number is likely to increase drastically by 2030, if untreated. Know how to manage Diabetes naturally and prolong healthy living and the role of General Physician clinic.


Self-Care in Diabetes

Self-care in Diabetes is a process of developing knowledge or awareness by learning to survive with the complexity of Diabetes in a social context.  There is an urgent need for reliable and valid measures for the self-management of Diabetes. Healthy eating, being physically active, monitoring of blood sugar, compliance with medications, and healthy risk-reduction behaviors are essential self-care behaviors that produce positive outcomes in Diabetes. A Diabetes self-care activity is an activity undertaken by people with Diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes to manage the disease independently. Self-care has been found to be positively correlated with good glycemic control, reduction of complications, and improvement in quality of life. Diabetes self-care also requires the patient to make many dietary and lifestyle modifications for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence leading to a successful positive change.


Diabetes self-management education

Individuals with Diabetes participating in their own care have been shown to make a great impact on the progression of their disease. It is important for patients becoming active and knowledgeable participants in their own care. Self-management education for adults with type-2 Diabetes revealed improvement in glycemic control.  Also, changes in self-care activities should also be carefully evaluated for progress.


Diabetes Self-Care Activities

Self-care activities refer to behaviors such as following a diet plan, avoiding high-fat foods, increasing exercise, self-glucose monitoring, and foot care. Self-monitoring of glycemic control is of most importance in Diabetes care that ensures achieving and maintaining specific glycemic targets.  Rigorously monitoring glycemic status follows an effective assessment of therapy and guiding required adjustments in diet, exercise, and medication in order to achieve optimal glycemic control. Engaging in regular physical activity, irrespective of weight loss has been found to be improving health outcomes among diabetics. It is recommended that all adults, especially those with Diabetes, should engage in regular physical activity.


Diabetes Diet

It is overwhelming to think about all the lifestyle changes that come with managing Diabetes. Small changes can help control or lower your blood sugar and keep diabetes in check. Dividing the meals into five or six small meals throughout the day helps keep your blood sugar balanced. Instead of eating big meals once or twice a day, eating smaller meals with 300 to 500 calories while being active is key to self-managing Diabetes. Enjoying fruits and vegetables, sticking to whole grains, and consulting a good Diabetes health practitioner can help achieve optimal glycemic control.


Diabetes and Exercise

The benefits of exercise for people who have Diabetes or almost any other disease, for that matter can’t be overstated.  In people with Diabetes, exercise lowers blood glucose levels and boosts your well-being, and helps maintain specific glycemic targets. All forms of exercise either aerobic, resistance, or doing both combined training proved equally good. Walking at least two hours is less likely to suffer than their sedentary counterparts and those who exercised three to four hours a week cut their risk even more.



 Diabetes Self-glucose monitoring

Blood glucose self-monitoring is a self-control tool for Diabetes. However, taking readings without training and more often and at times than those recommended, may not provide any valuable clinical benefits, Also, without training and proper information self-monitoring can even be more stressful.  Therefore, training must be assured before starting recording the readings because it is mandatory to know how often you need to measure your blood glucose, how to interpret the readings, and what action is required thereafter. This will make you feel independent and will give you a confident approach and a positive lifestyle. Also, The patient should not hesitate to discuss any of these issues with the General Physician.


Diabetes and Foot care

Patients with Diabetes mellitus are at increased risk for pedal ulceration due to microvascular, neuropathic, and biomechanical changes to the foot. Neuropathic changes to the body result in decreased pedal sensation and make the Diabetic foot prone to wounds from pressure, mechanical, or pressure injuries. Microvascular changes can result in reduced blood flow to the lower extremity, and delay the healing of wounds. It is highly advised to take proper diabetic foot care to ensure limb preservation. Diabetic foot care requires personal as well as professional care.  Mortality rates are improved in patients receiving care from a Family physician, the severity of amputation, length of stay, and when compared to those who did not. Ulcer healing and quality of life are also improved. Proper Diabetes management and education of patients regarding proper foot care is an essential part of diabetic foot care 


Diabetes Treatment adherence

Compliance with self-care activities in Diabetes is an area of interest and major concern to General Physicians. Diabetes is expected to follow a complex set of behavioral actions to care for their Diabetes on a daily basis. Engaging in positive lifestyle behaviors, including following a meal plan and engaging in appropriate physical activity, taking medications (insulin or an oral hypoglycemic agent) when indicated, monitoring blood glucose levels, responding to and self-treating Diabetes-related symptoms, following foot-care guidelines, and seeking individually appropriate medical care for Diabetes or other health-related problems is the proposed regime to reduce the chances of developing long-term complications. Success, therefore, may vary depending on how the changes are implemented, simultaneously or individually.


Role of Healthcare Providers

Family Physicians and educators evaluate perceived patient barriers to self-care behaviors and make recommendations. Diabetes doctors not only discuss self-care activities with patients but also evaluate the patient’s perceptions and make realistic and specific recommendations for self-care activities. Furthermore, these modifications are specific for each patient and altered depending on the patient’s response. Simultaneously, the General physician fully curates the specific Diabetes self-care regimen for the patient and assessment with regular follow-ups, easily through online consultations. Chronic illnesses like Diabetes should never be underestimated and therefore should be looked upon as an integral component of their long-term management.

To prevent Diabetes-related complications, there is a strict need for dedicated self-care behaviors, including food choices, physical activity, and proper medication intake and blood glucose. Though multiple demographic, socio-economic, and social support factors can be considered positive contributors to facilitating self-care activities in diabetic patients, the role of clinicians in promoting self-care is vital and has to be emphasized. Realizing the multi-faceted nature of the problem, a systematic, multi-pronged, and integrated approach is required for promoting self-care practices among diabetic patients to avert any long-term complications.

Related blogs