How to Teach Patients About Diabetes

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Teaching a patient how to manage her diabetes is one of the most important things that your can do for her, whether she is your medical patient, a family member or a close friend. In order to do so, however, you must have a thorough understanding of the disease and treatment options available for patients. Providing help to a diabetes patient requires careful planning and knowledge about teaching, but may provide her with invaluable information about how to treat her illness.

Teaching a patient how to manage diabetes is very important.
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Step 1

Begin by explaining the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Emphasize the importance of crafting a healthy lifestyle as opposed to implementing disparate changes.

First explain the difference between the types of diabetes.
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Step 2

Help him create a diet plan that caters to his personal needs and the demands of his particular disease. Create a sample meal specifically designed for diabetics. Talk him through each aspect of what makes a meal ideal for a diabetic diet.

Help your patient create a diet plan.
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Step 3

Go through each aspect of her medical needs and how to take care of them; this includes insulin shots, measuring glucose levels and monitoring her intake of sodium and sugar.

Take them through every aspect of their medical needs.
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Step 4

Provide the patient with stories of how other diabetes patients have managed their disease. Findings published in the Journal of Advances in Health Sciences Education have shown that this type of education allows the new diabetes patient to step into the shoes of people who have dealt with the disease, giving her perspective on the situation. Give her the opportunity to imagine herself having incorporated diabetes into her lifestyle.

Provide them with positive resources.
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Step 5

Help the patient develop an exercise plan that is conducive to keeping his weight at a healthy level. Explain the principles that link diabetes to weight gain and body fat.

Help the patient develop an exercise plan.
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Step 6

Discuss serious complications, and help craft a plan of action in the scenario that the patient's blood sugar level suddenly spikes or drops. In addition, make sure that she is equipped to take care of her skin effectively as small cuts or bruises left untreated can lead to serious issues.

Discuss serious complications they need to be aware of.
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Tips & Warnings

  • If the patient you are teaching is very young or completely unfamiliar with the disease make sure that your remain patient and offer him your undivided attention. Diabetes is a serious illness, and your job as educator is to make sure that the patient is equipped to deal with it on his own when you part ways with him.
  • Diabetes emergencies should always be followed by a consultation with the patient's health-care professional. An emergency-preparedness kit for diabetics should take this into account and serve as a means of providing the individual with a way of quickly handling a dangerous health situation when medical help is not immediately available.

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