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Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce insulin. When we eat, our body digests the food and deposits glucose (sugar molecules) into our bloodstream. When our glucose levels get high, our body naturally releases insulin in order to signal that the glucose should be used for energy. This generally allows our body to maintain a safe glucose level in our bloodstream. When glucose gets too high, this can lead to health problems such as loss of vision, kidney failure, heart complications, neuropathy, and more. A person with diabetes struggles to produce, or cannot produce, insulin to counteract high glucose levels. Instead, they must manually monitor and adjust their glucose level with insulin injections and other medications. This is why self-management is so crucial.

Diabetes Self-Care

People who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes are introduced to a myriad of self-care mechanisms. Diabetes affects the body in many ways from cardiovascular symptoms to neurological complications. It is vitally important not only to understand how diabetes affects your body but also to practice self-management and self-care techniques. The implementation of these techniques can lead to improved blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and even a reduced need for medication in some cases.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is when you body is unable to produce insulin. It is not a result of overeating, obesity, or poor health. It is generally thought to be an autoimmune response caused by genetics, infections, or other environmental factors.

Type 2 Diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, your body is able to produce insulin, but not enough to reduce blood glucose to safe levels on its own. A healthy lifestyle can prevent type 2 diabetes and make it easier for your body to manage the glucose level in your blood.

Gestational Diabetes

This is when diabetes develops in pregnant women who did not have diabetes otherwise. This type of diabetes usually goes away after giving birth.

Self-Management Classes from ClearSpring Pharmacy

Self-management education may be the best step you can take towards living healthily with diabetes. As mentioned, you may be introduced to new self-monitoring systems when diagnosed. Keeping a pulse on your glucose levels and understanding how to keep them in a healthy range is a valuable skill. Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) classes will help you not only adequately manage your diabetes but excel in knowledge and understanding. This is a great place to start for people who have been newly diagnosed. Even if you have been living with diabetes for some time, self-management classes can still provide health benefits. The CDC states that “participating in a self-management education (SME) program can help you learn skills to manage your diabetes more effectively by checking blood sugar regularly, eating healthy food, being active, taking medicines as prescribed, and handling stress.” Self-management classes are a great investment in yourself and are often covered by insurance. Classes can help you:
  • Improve A1C levels
  • Keep blood pressure on target
  • Save money on diabetes medication and supplies
  • And more!
Below are the chapters that ClearSpring Pharmacy’s DSMES classes will cover.

Fundamentals

Create a strong foundation for your understanding of diabetes. Learn about the different types of diabetes, how they function, and basic lifestyle choices that may need adjustment.

Monitoring

Your blood says a lot about you. Learning to monitor consistently and what numbers to aim for will give you a better understanding of your health. From A1C to glucose levels, you’ll get a better grasp on what they mean and where they need to be.

Medications

Insulin is the number one medication that people with diabetes need. But did you know there are different types of insulin? Insulin ranges from fast-acting to long-acting as well as a combination of the two. Other medications include alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, sulfonylureas and more. Learn about your medications and how to become less dependent on them.

Reducing Risks

Diabetes affects your health in a variety of ways. People with diabetes are often more prone to experience adverse health outcomes. Learn about reducing your risk of by adjusting your diet, physical activity, self-care strategies, and more.

Healthy Eating

The importance of diet is crucial when diagnosed with diabetes! However, taking a positive approach to the way you eat can lead you to explore new recipes, meals, and approaches to eating. Learn what should be limited and what can be added.

Being Active

Diabetes is not always caused by obesity and poor physical activity. We know type 1 diabetes to be caused by a genetic disposition and environmental factors. However, improved physical activity, exercise, and overall healthy living can help alleviate symptoms and gain better control of the disease.

It’s Easy to Sign Up!

Sign up for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) classes with ClearSpring Pharmacy. Your pharmacist, Dana Sadowski, will guide you through the dos and don’ts of diabetes. Additionally, you will be a part of a community where your peers will also share advice and anecdotes that may be helpful throughout your journey with diabetes. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!