Community health and diabetes education is available in most communities and often for free. Newly diagnosed diabetics will be referred to these programs by their primary care physician. Diabetic patient education is the first requirement that diabetics need. They need to be educated about what causes diabetes as well as the problems that they can encounter. They will also need to learn the areas that they will have to have self care responsibility over. Most community health centers especially in larger urban areas, offer this education for free.
Diabetics self care responsibilities include daily glucose monitoring, changing eating habits, starting an exercise plan, and what the patient needs to do to cooperate with the members of their healthcare team. Care for diabetes includes monitoring, managing and control.
Perhaps most important is monitoring the disease. There are many monitoring devices on the market and many companies that produce monitoring devices. Most of these companies will usually give newly diagnosed patients their first monitor free in order to gain the diabetic’s brand loyalty for other diabetic supplies. The diabetic’s doctor’s staff can advise and teach the diabetic on using these devices. Glucose daily monitoring is the diabetic’s first line of defense and extremely important for the managing and treatment of this disease.
Diet and nutrition will need to be managed as well. An exercise program also needs to be developed to maintain a healthy weight as well as for overall fitness. Exercise is important in keeping blood pressure under control as well as helping medication or insulin therapy work correctly.
Diabetics also need to be taught by medical professionals about the importance of managing their eye health, foot care health and good oral health as these can be problem areas for diabetic patients. Because of narrowing of blood vessels, problems can develop with the eyes and diabetic patients need to have regular eye exams involving dilation of the eyes so the eye professional can better examine the blood vessels in the back of the eyes.
Another area needing education and management is oral hygiene especially gum health. This is caused by the narrowing of blood vessels in the mouth. So, diabetic patients need to have regular scheduled dental visits and learn good daily gum and teeth care.
The most important area of self care is foot care. Diabetics have a lot of problems with feet. This happens because of nerve damage in the foot and narrowing of blood vessels in the legs. These two problems together can cause a small cut to become infected easily and can lead to gangrene of the foot. Gangrene often leads to amputation of the leg or foot. But all these problems can be prevented with proper foot care. Proper foot care includes daily washing and carefully inspecting the feet for breaks in the skin, small cuts, blisters, corns and calluses. Calluses and corns need to be treated by medical or nursing staff. Small cuts should be treated with antibiotic ointments. It is extremely important to keep toe nails properly trimmed to avoid ingrown toenails as this can also be a source of infection or foot problems.
Community health and diabetes education is available in most communities and often for free. Newly diagnosed diabetics will be referred to these programs by their primary care physician. Diabetic patient education is the first requirement that newly diagnosed diabetics need. They need to be educated about what causes diabetes as well as the problems that they can encounter. They will also need to learn the areas that they will have to have self care responsibility for.
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