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People with diabetes, and their family members, know that it can be difficult to keep blood sugars in a good range. Certainly your physician is a key player in helping with that. I always tell my patients that they are ‘in the driver’s seat.’ What that means is that each person with diabetes should learn about healthy eating, how to increase activity level, how to properly check their blood sugars and how to take their diabetes medications correctly.
Studies have shown that when people with diabetes participate in “self-management education and support,” they learn these things, and they are healthier with fewer diabetes-related complications. It’s a lot to learn on your own, and there’s so much misinformation out there. It’s hard to know what advice to follow.
A couple of years ago, a young man in his 40s was referred to me for diabetes education. He had been diagnosed about 10 years prior, though, and admitted that he never took his health seriously. He was young and healthy, otherwise, and he didn’t feel badly. So, he didn’t eat right, didn’t have regular doctor’s appointments, and didn’t see a diabetes educator. Before he knew it, he had a sore on his foot that wouldn’t heal and he ended up having to have part of his foot amputated. He said to me after one of the diabetes education classes, “I wish I had learned about how to take care of my diabetes years ago. Then, I wouldn’t have lost my foot.”
When a diabetes educational program, such as ours here at Fauquier Health’s Wellness Center, is recognized through the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it means that that the program meets strict guidelines that are put into place by the ADA. This helps make sure that the education provided is accurate, current, easy to understand, and that it helps the person with diabetes to better control their blood sugars. That means as a person, you feel more energetic, you’re healthier, and you have fewer diabetes complications.
To keep current with our diabetes program recognition, we undergo an in-depth review by the ADA every four years. They look at how our educational program is set up and give recommendations on how to improve things where needed.
There are four times in a person’s life when they should get diabetes education:
As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, I’m specially trained in providing that education.
If you’ve got diabetes and you’ve never had diabetes education, ask your doctor for a referral. Then, come learn how to keep your blood sugars where they need to be!
About the Author:
Beth Potter, MS, RDN, CDE®
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator®
Below you will find the official news release from the American Diabetes Association that recognizes Fauquier Health.
Fauquier Health Earns Recognition of the American Diabetes Association®
Education Recognition Program (ERP) certification ensures quality diabetes education and support for people living with diabetes.
[Warrenton, VA (July 10, 2019)] – The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the nation’s leading organization committed to fighting diabetes by driving discovery through research and innovation, intensifying the urgency around the diabetes epidemic and supporting people living with and affected by diabetes, today announced the recognition of Fauquier Health’s Wellness Center, Diabetes Program through the Education Recognition Program (ERP). The DSMES service was originally recognized in May of 2019.
The ADA’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational services meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES). The DSMES Standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes community in 1994, 2000, 2007, 2012 and 2017. The ERP promotes quality Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) for people with diabetes by certifying that services adhere to the National Standards for DSMES. Services certified by the ADA’s ERP program offer a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. Services apply for recognition voluntarily, and ADA-ERP recognition lasts for four years.
“Daily self-management skills are absolutely essential for people to effectively navigate the 24/7 challenges of living with diabetes, helping to keep them healthy and prevent or delay the serious complications of diabetes,” said Linda Cann, MSEd, the ADA’s senior vice president of professional services. “We applaud Fauquier Health for its commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based education and support for people with diabetes by meeting the National Standards for DSME/S and earning the ADA’s ERP recognition.”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) 2017 National Diabetes Statistic Report there are 30.3 million people or 9.4% of the population in the United States who have diabetes. While an estimated 23.1 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 7.2 million people are not aware that they have this disease. Each day, more than 4,110 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Many will first learn that they have diabetes when they are treated for one of its life-threatening complications – heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve disease, and amputation. Diabetes continues to be the seventh leading cause of death in the US—in 2015, in contributed to 252,806 deaths. The ADA’s Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017 confirms diabetes as the nation’s most expensive chronic health care condition at $327 billion.