Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.

According to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, less than half of those living with diabetes have had some sort of diabetes self management training.

Diabetes is a complex disease and only becomes more confusing and much harder to control without the help of a health professional. It is great to visit your doctor on a regular basis, but unfortunately, they rarely provide the training that you will use on a daily basis to control your diabetes.

That is where a Certified Diabetes Educator or CDE comes in. The job of a CDE is to provide you with the tools you will need to manage your diabetes. They work in conjunction with your doctor helping you have optimal control. It was ​reported that only one percent of those diagnosed with diabetes using Medicare had some kind of management training. It is clear that CDE’s as well as diabetes education classes are being extremely underutilized.

“CDE’s have the expertise to help you manage your diabetes. They provide vital insights into self-care behaviors that help you keep your diabetes in check: managing blood sugar, medication and insulin dose adjustment instruction, monitoring and exercise information. Many CDEs also specialize in insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring sensors,” says Peggy Moreland, an R.N. and writer for Mayo Clinic. “Most of all, the CDE empowers you to partner in your own health care.”

Without the help of a CDE it can be incredibly hard to take control of your diabetes. If you don’t receive some kind of training or education for the daily care and management of your health and diabetes you will be left at the will and perhaps limited knowledge of your doctor or healthcare professional. And don’t get me wrong, they do play a very important role in your care, but diabetes is a very personalized disease and it is up to you to take control. Here's where you can find a CDE.

Build a healthcare team with you as the leader and healthcare professionals such as your doctor, dietician and CDE working together to give you complete understanding of your needs and support so that you achieve optimal diabetes control.

To learn more on this topic:
Dangers of Advertising: Why Your Doctor Needs to be Part of Your Diabetes Self-Management Plan
Social Media: A Portable Approach to Diabetes Self-Care
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