In recognition of National Diabetes Education Week, Endocrinology Advisor compiled a list of resources to assist clinicians when educating patients with diabetes about the best ways to manage their condition.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a number of great resources for patients with diabetes. “It’s Your Life. Treat Your Diabetes Well.” is a webpage that highlights the most important information for patients to know, including diabetes facts, risk factors, steps to take after diagnosis, basics of treatment, and potential complications.
- Created for the National Diabetes Education Program, “Tips to Help You Stay Healthy With Diabetes” is a print-friendly, 4-step plan to guide patients in managing diabetes.
- For patients with prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, these handouts from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) may help answer some common questions.
- The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) published materials to explain the process of monitoring glucose levels and why it is important, including details about continuous glucose monitoring.
Talking to patients about self-care is an important part of diabetes management. Here are resources available to help:
- The CDC’s “Diabetes Foot and Skin Care” is a handout listing the best ways to identify and prevent diabetic dermopathy and foot ulcers.
- A resource by the ADA highlights the importance of oral health in diabetes, including a section about communicating with dental care specialists regarding a diagnosis of diabetes.
- Need to remind patients about eye exams? This ADA handout specifies when and how often to seek vision checks based different diabetes diagnoses.
- The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) published a comprehensive webpage for patients with diabetes outlining how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity” includes examples of foods to avoid, meal planning, and aerobic and strength-building exercises. In addition, the use of dietary supplements and medical nutrition therapy for the management of diabetes is explained.
- A list of aerobic, resistance, balance, and flexibility exercises with accompanying illustrations is available from the ADA.
The wide array of therapies available for diabetes treatment can be overwhelming. These resources can help patients understand the diabetes treatment landscape:
- “Insulin, Medicines, & Other Diabetes Treatments” by the NIDDK offers a comprehensive overview of insulin use and short descriptions of other potential diabetes treatments, including bariatric surgery and artificial pancreas technology.
- For a more detailed list of oral medications, injectables, and insulins, the ADA published a printable Medications Guide. Common medications prescribed for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia are also explained.
Help patients understand the short- and long-term complications of diabetes with these materials:
- The National Diabetes Education Initiative has several patient education resources, including a 1-page handout detailing how to treat hypoglycemia.
- Want to explain the cardiovascular risks associated with diabetes? The AADE has a handout explaining metabolic syndrome risk factors and the relationship between hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.
- Several patient materials are available from the ADA regarding diabetes complications, including nephropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Looking for more specialized education materials? Here are other resources for patients with diabetes:
- Help patients with type 1 diabetes be prepared for emergency situations with this webpage from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
- The CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation has materials specifically designed to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives by incorporating traditional foods, social support, and traditional lifestyle into type 2 diabetes prevention.
- Have patients who are traveling? This handout by the AADE can help them prepare for a safe, enjoyable trip.
- Patient materials from the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved are catered to both English- and Spanish-speaking patients and are available in low and very low literacy levels. Topics span from diabetes basics like insulin injection and pen safety to tips for diet and exercise.
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