Self Management means that YOU keep track of YOUR blood glucose and take an active part in the treatment of YOUR diabetes. This is important because so many things you do in your daily life affect your blood glucose.
Treating your Diabetes
Before you developed diabetes your pancreas kept your blood glucose within the normal range by producing the right amount of insulin at the right time. Now, YOU must help your body do what it once did automatically. You will not be alone. Your diabetes care team will help and support you. But YOU are the main person to treat YOUR diabetes.
Learning Self Management
It takes effort to learn about and use the tools of self management. You cannot learn this just by reading about it. Learning by doing is a must. It takes time and practice and requires that you work closely with your doctor and other members of your diabetes care team. They’ll guide you to maintain the best possible blood glucose control. The HSE and ourselves have excellent education courses that empowers you.
You can avail of group education on Type 2 diabetes as a way of learning more about YOUR condition. There are three programmes available. All similar with slight variation in duration and content. We recommend attending one every five years.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic face to face programmes are not taking place, and we at Diabetes Ireland are now, since Autumn 2020 running our Group Education programme online. The programme is called CODE (Community Orientated Diabetes Education). This Group Programme is for people with Type 2 diabetes or Prediabetes and is now available to access online. To find out more and to register for a place see www.diabetes.ie, email [email protected] or phone 01 8428118 to find out more.
Other Group courses are DESMOND (Diabetes Education Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed Diabetes) and DISCOVER DIABETES (Formerly known as XPERT)– ask your GP, Practice Nurse or your Diabetes Team for up to date information regarding online availability of these programmes.
Testing your Blood Glucose
Some people with type 2 diabetes will be asked to monitor their own blood glucose levels. Testing your blood glucose at home can let you know how well you are doing with the factors that affect your blood glucose — medication, food, exercise and illness. Your diabetes care team will advise you on the correct procedure, your target blood glucose levels, and how often is right for you to check your blood glucose.
Good Blood Glucose Control
You benefit from good blood glucose control, because it can make you feel better in your daily life. When your blood glucose is either too low or too high, you may feel unwell, tired and uncomfortable. Good blood glucose control also helps to prevent long-term complications from diabetes.
When to Test Blood Glucose
Exactly how often and when to test varies among individuals. It depends on your particular reasons for testing. If you use each blood glucose reading to adjust your next insulin injection and diet, then you need to test before each insulin injection and each meal. Talk with your diabetes care team about what is best for you. To make good decisions about your treatment, it is also helpful to test before and after exercise, whenever you suspect that your blood glucose is low or high and when you are ill. If you are prescribed certain medication, or insulin to help manage your diabetes, then you must always check your blood glucose before you drive a car or operate machinery.
Fill in your Diary
A diary is a good way to keep track of your blood glucose readings and any questions you might want to ask your diabetes team at your next review. It may enable you and your diabetes care team to treat your diabetes more effectively. Enter your blood glucose readings in the diary, along with the date and time of testing. It’s a good idea to make personal notes about things that may have affected your blood glucose, how you felt about it and what you did to keep your blood glucose under control. This is all valuable information that you can use to make decisions about your diabetes management. Always take your diary to appointments with your diabetes care team.
This is known as the “long term test” and is performed by a medical professional. This is a measure of your blood glucose control over a period of the previous approx 6 -8 weeks. It is a very good indicator of your overall control of your condition despite the odd high or low readings you may have had during that time.
Our Care Centre services in Dublin and Cork are now fully restored providing podiatry services (click here to make an appointment) and access to Diabetic RetinaScreen services each day. Our Counselling services are also available via one to one virtual appointments (click here for more information).