Self Management and Day to Day Care in Diabetes Mellitus

Self-management is the cornerstone of overall diabetes care. Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires decisions regarding food intake, exercise and insulin/medication that are made several time a day in order to manage blood glucose levels. Self-management requires that the person with diabetes makes those decisions according to an agreed upon treatment plan. This means that the person has to have the skills and knowledge necessary to make decisions. The aim is to teach and provide guidance to the people with diabetes to enhance their day-to-day management of diabetes. The person with diabetes, their family and the health care team work together to develop a plan that is flexible enough to allow modification according to established guidelines. Following topics are included as a part of self care management:

  • Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Sick Day Routine
  • Foot Care
  • Skin Care in Diabetes
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes
  • Diabetes and Travel
  • Employment, Insurance and Marriage in Diabetes

Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG): Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is an essential tool in the management of diabetes. If properly used, SMBG values are employed by the patient to make immediate treatment decisions. SMBG is an essential component of any intensive therapy program directed toward achieving meticulous glycemic control. Patients need to learn how to use the data to adjust food intake, exercise, or pharmacological therapy to achieve specific glycemic goals. SMBG is the only practical means of detecting asymptomatic hypoglycemia in the outpatient setting. Patients may use SMBG during intercurrent illness and other emergency situations. SMBG may be particularly important in children and adolescents who have wide day-to-day variations in activity. Record keeping is essential to successful treatment, particularly if one is to consider the impact of previous responses. In response to blood glucose fluctuations, the patient must learn how to take appropriate action, predetermined with the diabetes management team.

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