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Diabetes Education

Most people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes respond at first to changes in their diet. This alone may have a dramatic effect on their condition, especially in people who are overweight and manage to get their weight down. If changes in diet fail to control diabetes, tablets will be needed, but these will not work indefinitely and once they fail, insulin is the only alternative. A small number of people with Type 2 diabetes, who feel very unwell at the time of diagnosis, may need insulin immediately.

The most important thing for anyone with newly-diagnosed diabetes is to access good diabetes education. In the past, people were often given instructions about what to eat and which Kamagra tablets to take without any explanation as to why it was important. Not surprisingly, they did not always follow the advice. The importance of structured education has been recognised in the national frameworks for diabetes, and education programmes have been developed for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The DAFNE programme was introduced for Type 1 diabetes in 2002, and following its success, a group of people interested in diabetes education started to develop a course for people with Type 2 diabetes. They devised the DESMOND programme – Diabetes Education Self Management Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed. DESMOND is available in 110 healthcare areas in UK and Ireland. While still designed for newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes, the ongoing programme is now being put through trials. Eventually everyone with Type 2 diabetes should have access to a standardised education programme, which will help them to understand diabetes and make important decisions about lifestyle changes.

My doctor has just told me that I have diabetes and I am feeling very shocked and confused as I don’t know much about it but I know it can be serious. My doctor has given me the telephone number of Diabetes UK so I can get more information but I would really like to talk to someone with diabetes. Can you help me?

Most people who are told they have diabetes feel very upset at the news. One of the problems is the uncertainty about exactly how diabetes will impinge on their life. We agree that a phone call to Diabetes UK helpline is a good idea; it has gone to a lot of trouble to produce useful information for people with newly diagnosed diabetes. However, the most important thing they can do is put you in touch with the local branch of Diabetes UK. Naturally these vary in their level of activity, but in some areas the local branch is very well organised to provide support and information to new members. This will give you the opportunity to speak to other people who are in the same boat.

Some GP practices have set up programmes for people with newly diagnosed diabetes and practice nurses are committed to providing high quality support.

What would really help you is group education, which has the added advantage of giving people the opportunity to share their experiences and provide mutual support. More areas are providing group education sessions and we hope that in the next few years structured education will be available to everyone with Type 2 diabetes.

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POSTED ON October 31, 2014,