Modern Treatment Options for Patients with Diabetes
Diabetes conditions treated at the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Providence Hospital include type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy, pre-conception counseling, and gestational diabetes. It is important for anyone who has diabetes to understand the daily management of this serious disease. By learning about lifestyle changes and the clinical management of diabetes, we can work together with patients for improved health. We partner with our patients and teach them The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) 7™ Self-Care Behaviors (healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks, and healthy coping) to successfully manage their diabetes.
- Presenting basic and advanced information about diabetes and its management
- Training you and your family to use diabetes devices, including blood glucose meters, insulin syringes or pens, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors
- Teaching you problem solving strategies and skills to self-manage your diabetes
- Helping you set and achieve behavior-change goals
- Providing nutrition education, including diabetes meal-planning, weight loss strategies, and other disease-specific nutrition counseling
- Managing medications, based on physician-directed protocols
- Educating you in techniques to reduce your risk of diabetes complications
- Helping you develop emotional coping skills
- Diabetes patients need to learn how to monitor their blood glucose. Daily testing will help determine how well their meal plan, activity plan, and medication are working to keep blood glucose levels in a normal range.
- Diabetes patients need to have a meal (nutrition) plan.
- Diabetes patients need to pay attention to their physical activity level. Physical activity can help the body use insulin better so it can convert glucose into energy for cells.
- Diabetes patients with type 1 diabetes, and some with type 2 diabetes, also need to take insulin injections.
- Some diabetes patients with type 2 diabetes take pills called "oral agents" which help their bodies produce more insulin and/or use the insulin it is producing better.
- Some diabetes patients with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease without medication by appropriate meal planning and adequate physical activity.
- Diabetes patients should be seen at least once every six months by a diabetes specialist (an endocrinologist). He or she should also be seen periodically by other members of a diabetes treatment team, including a diabetes nurse educator and a dietitian who will help develop a meal plan for the individual.
- Ideally, diabetes patients should also see an exercise physiologist for help in developing a physical activity plan, and perhaps, a social worker, psychologist or other mental health professional for help with the stresses and challenges of living with a chronic disease.
- Diabetes patients should have regular eye exams (once a year) by an ophthalmologist to make sure that any eye problems associated with diabetes are caught early and treated before they become serious.
What to expect at the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Providence Hospital
Improved quality of life is the best thing we can do for you. Educating yourself about diabetes is about empowering yourself with the latest available information to help you manage the day-to-day care of your diabetes, and to help you take charge of your own physical health and emotional well-being.
Personalized education with our team begins shortly after your physician refers you to our Center. Once we've received the referral, you will get a call from our office to set up a one-on-one appointment with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). During this initial assessment, the educator will want to understand your successes and struggles with diabetes. In addition to health concerns, we will discuss your dietary and lifestyle habits, work situation, home environment, and other factors that affect your diabetes. After the assessment is completed, we will design an education plan.
Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) and Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) require a referral from your primary care provider. Consult your primary care physician for a referral - if you do not have a primary care provider, the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Providence Hospital can help you find one. Once your completed referral form is received, we will verify your insurance and contact you directly to schedule your first appointment. If your insurance doesn't cover the Joslin services you desire, you also have the option to self-pay, based on a sliding scale.
Visit a Diabetes Specialist in Your Neighborhood
To find out more about the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Providence Hospital, call 202-269-7128.