Colorado / Managing Diabetes
Welcome to the Managing My Diabetes and Other Health Concerns section of the CTH Patient Website! This section is organized differently from other sections of this site as it will provide specific information about managing type 2 diabetes and health distress.
The content for Managing my Diabetes was developed collaboratively with the CaReNet Diabetes Patient Advisory Council and the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine. CaReNet Diabetes Patient Advisory Council is a group of Colorado community members, health educators, and physicians. Many of them have diabetes. Those that don‘t know someone who does. They created a partnership because they wanted to help their friends, family members, and coworkers live a healthy life with diabetes. Diabetes is serious business, but you can life an active, full life with diabetes.
A message from the CaReNet Diabetes Patient Advisory Council:
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming. You may not fully understand what it means. Support and “straight talk” from your doctor and entire clinic team is important. We encourage you to work closely with your medical team to answer questions and to manage your diabetes. This partnership helps us when we are in the real world — where we are responsible for our own quality of life.
We helped create this section of the website. Our goal is to provide clear and consistent messages and tools — suggestions for strategies to help you get started and make adjustments as you go along.
Managing diabetes is a process. It doesn‘t happen overnight. Doing something a little differently can make a big difference in your health. Keep track of your changes, work with your doctor, and see the results.
We believe there is a difference between being given health information and the process of discovering how you want to live with diabetes. We have struggled. We are succeeding. What do you want to try?
The Colorado Research Network (CaReNet) Patient Advisory Council
- Ron Akin
- Rebekah Anderson
- Esther Cancella
- Kathy Chaten
- Marcia Dailey
- Ken Dailey
- Perry Dickinson, MD
- Annice Johnson
- Bonnie Jortberg, PhD
- Kyle Knierman, MD
- Sally Merrow
- Don Nease, MD
- Genevive Smith
- Jim Smith
- Jo Smith
- Jack Westfall, MD
- Michele Wheeler
- Tabria Winer,MPH
- Linda Zittleman, MSPH
Please click on the links below to receive information about the basics of diabetes, and 7 skills that can help you to take charge of your diabetes.
Before going further, you may have many questions about diabetes. What is it? How serious is it? This section provides an overview of diabetes. Your doctor can also answer other questions you have about diabetes. These are important conversations between you and your medical home team.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators identified 7 key skills that will help you take charge of your diabetes, and this section will cover each of them:
1. Healthful Eating
Healthy eating can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, which is a key factor in optimal blood sugar control throughout your life.
2. Being active
Regular activity is important for overall fitness, weight management, and blood sugar control. Being active can also help enhance weight loss, help control blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) and blood pressure, and reduce stress.
3. Taking Medication
Some people need medication no matter how carefully they eat and exercise. Effective drug therapy in combination with healthy lifestyle choices lowers blood sugar levels, reduces the risk for diabetes complications and makes you feel better.
Daily self-monitoring of blood glucose (sugar) with a blood glucose meter can help you understand how food, physical activity and medications affect blood sugar. There is no wrong time to check. Different times give you different kinds of information. Discuss this with your care team to get their advice on when may be best for you.
5. Problem Solving
Keep your problem-solving skills sharp. On any given day, a very high or low blood sugar will require quick, informed decisions about food, activity, and medications. Even after living with diabetes for years, stability can still be a challenge. The disease is progressive and life situations change. Learn to identify problems and find possible solutions.
6. Reducing Risks
Choosing the steps you want to take and changing unhealthy habits will help reduce the risks of complications from diabetes. Stop smoking and have regular eye, foot, and dental examinations. These actions can have a major impact.
7. Healthy Coping
Your health and quality of life are affected by depression, financial struggles or job loss, and other mental health factors. Mental stress affects your health and motivation to keep diabetes in control. When motivation is low, your commitment to perform daily self-care may lessen. Coping can become difficult. Learning to manage stress and life situations is an important piece for controlling blood sugar. A strong support system, and contact with your provider when needed, can help you manage.