Diabetes is a disease that needs daily self-management to make healthy food choices, monitor blood glucose levels, stay physically active, and take medications as directed by the doctor.
Therefore, patients must have a team and resources to help them cope with lifestyle changes and reduce complications. Diabetes resources also help patients reinforce knowledge, skills, and lifestyle changes they gain from Diabetes Self-Management Support (DSMS). Some diabetes resources include:
Education programs help patients gain skills, knowledge, and confidence to live with diabetes and lead a healthy, productive life. There are personal educators in different programs who usually help patients find practical solutions depending on the type and severity of their diabetes plus personal needs.
For patients who cannot find or go to a diabetes education program, they can find online diabetes education websites from organizations like Tandem Diabetes care, Medicare Coverage for Diabetes, American Diabetes Association’s Food Hub, U of California Diabetes Teaching Center, Source for Diabetes Information, Joslin Diabetes, and International Diabetes centre.
These online diabetes information and education platforms help people know more about diabetes and how to manage it using diet, fitness, and other healthy lifestyle choices.
A benefit of online diabetes education and information platforms is that patients or people who have diabetic relatives can get the information without leaving their homes. Most of those platforms have diabetes experts who publish those educational resources, so patients get the same information they would have gotten from doctors and physical education programs.
Diabetes support and blogs
Some diabetes blogs include Glucose Zone, The Fit Blog, College Diabetes Network, Children with Diabetes, Insulin Pumpers, and Diabetes living today.
These blogs have information to teach people how to live with different types of diabetes, diets to help manage their blood sugar levels, how to incorporate exercises into their daily routine, educating people on insulin to treat diabetes, and teaching parents how to take care of diabetic children.
Patient education library
Patient libraries have online printable or downloadable materials with different diabetes topics. Most of them will have these topics categorized to make it easier for patients to find what they want to read.
Diabetes supplies and suppliers
Diabetes supplies are the products that help diabetes patients manage the disease like insulin, testing supplies, continuous glucose monitors, lancets, test strips, etc.
There are different physical and online suppliers for diabetes supplies, and all patients have to do is ensure they pick the one with supplies from the best manufacturers.
Like other diseases, there is ongoing research on different aspects of diabetes, like ways to manage it. When patients get new information quickly, it will help them know more about their disease, implement the new solutions, and know what is best for them according to their needs.
Different organizations represent diabetes patients and advocate different matters that help make the lives of diabetes patients easier.
Some of those organizations include the American Association of Kidney Patients, the American Foundation for the blind, the American Chronic Pain Association, the Celiac Society, etc.
These organizations educate caregivers and patients to better understand their conditions, advocate for policies like increased kidney transplantation to eliminate complications and life losses associated with diabetes and bring together diabetes patients to form communities for better conversations.
This toolkit is aimed to offer information and guidance to assist educators and health providers to meet the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support national standards, especially Standard eight, ongoing support.
If you are a diabetes patient seeking to partner with others in learning how to live with and manage diabetes, there are different diabetes resources you can seek out.