Living with diabetes is a day-in, day-out job. A diabetes disease management program makes the job a little easier. It gives 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 problems.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a disease management program helps you learn 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. You may have questions about how to take your medicines or how to lose weight. Talk with your healthcare provider to develop a plan that will work for you. You can also join in-person or online classes and support groups to share with others what you have learned.
Get the latest diabetes information. Guidelines for diabetes management are constantly being updated. Being part of a disease management program can give you access to up-to-date information to help you make healthy choices.
Take an active role in your care. A disease management program also helps you work closely with your healthcare provider. You can speak up and get involved. Tell your healthcare team about your cultural background and choices.
Get help with setting goals. Get advice on ways to make healthy behavior changes, such as eating better and exercising more. Disease management programs track your health over time. You and your healthcare provider can get a more complete picture of how you're doing. You can also talk about what you still need to change to reach your goals.
A disease management program sounds like a good thing. But you might be wondering if it really works. Research shows that these programs do work. In fact, taking part in a program can reduce health problems caused by diabetes. These programs can help improve blood sugar control and screening for problems caused by diabetes. Medicare and other insurance programs often cover these programs because they have been proven to work.
Having diabetes will never be easy. But a good program can give you the tools to better manage the challenges.