Friday, April 15, 2016

What To Communicate To Patients During Diabetes Counseling

By Lisa Cole

Diabetes is, without a doubt, the commonest and most serious metabolic disorder that exists. The main underlying problem in this disorder is a deficiency in insulin hormone or its inability to produce required physiological changes in the body. Diabetes is known to result in acute or chronic complications particularly if not properly managed. Being a lifelong illness, patients need to be adequately counseled. We will look at the main areas of diabetes counseling.

Counseling of patients with diabetes is an opportunity to educate them. They should be helped to learn as much as possible about their condition and the strategies which they can adopt to make their lives better. The process needs to be done regularly bearing in mind that this condition is lifelong and progress over time. Patients that are regularly counseled have been observed to be more adherent to prescribed treatments.

Like many chronic illnesses, emotional health is an important part of treatment for this condition. Most cases of type 2 diabetes are made in adulthood and one of the biggest challenges that this brings with it is adjustment of the individual to the diagnosis. This is a possible trigger for stress and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Newly diagnosed diabetic patients will benefit from the services of a mental health expert.

There is a need to emphasize on the importance of having the right diet booth for type 1 and 2 diabetics. This ensures that the blood sugar levels are maintained within a normal range. Persons with diabetes should avoid taking sweetened drinks and sugary snacks. These have a high glycemic index which means that they have a potential to drastically increase blood sugar levels. The ideal diet contains lots of fruits, fresh vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

Patients should understand that putting on excess weight is detrimental to the successful management of their condition. One of the effects of being overweight or obese is the fact that it increases the risk of insulin resistance. Losing weight, on the other, hand helps reduce the HBA1c which is the long term indicator of blood sugar levels. The caloric intake per day should not exceed 800.

Engaging in regular physical exercise not only helps to lose weight but is also enhances glucose utilization by body tissues reducing its concentration in the blood. If one has never been involved in physical exercise before, they can start with simple routines such as brisk walking then increasing the intensity progressively. It is recommended that one engages in intense activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, for three to five days in a week.

Patients that consume alcohol (especially in high quantities and on a regular basis) should be counseled on the same. In general, alcoholic beverages should be markedly or completely avoided if possible. Alcohol intake results in blood sugar levels. These fluctuations are much more erratic in persons taking oral hypoglycemic drugs or insulin. This is because the liver is overwhelmed by the metabolism of alcohol and cannot adequately break down these drugs.

Patients need to understand that follow up clinics are an important part of treatment. The clinics give the doctor an opportunity to identify any complications early and to intervene before complications set in. Comprehensive medical checkups should be done at least once every year.

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