What is self-management of diabetes?

Self-management of diabetes includes meal planning, planned physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, taking diabetes medicines, handling episodes of illness and of low and high blood glucose, managing diabetes when traveling, and more. The person with diabetes designs his or her own self-management treatment plan in consultation with a variety of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others.
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

"Self-management" describes a unique aspect of diabetes- the behaviors that we adopt ourselves, and practice every day, have a major impact on reducing the risk that diabetes will lead to potential health effects innocently called "complications" (heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, loss of eyesight, etc.). "Every day" is the key phrase- taking medication as prescribed, testing blood sugar, eating healthy and managing carbohydrates, getting adequate exercise, reducing stress, identifying blood sugar patterns, etc. We must learn about diabetes management, and commit to practicing these beneficial behaviors. It is a huge responsibility, but also a personal opportunity to reduce the impact of diabetes on our overall health.

Rita Juray

Thank you for bringing your question to Sharecare. What is self-management of Diabetes? Well, I like to start by saying your doctor sees you for about 15 minutes possibly every 3 months or so. Orders meds, orders tests. Tells you what you should be doing. The rest of the time, how your diabetes is being managed is all about you! Self-management includes getting those labs done, taking the medicine correctly, being active at least 30 minutes a day, eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy weight. Self-management also includes seeing your eye specialist, your podiatrist and your dentist! Every day you need to be on top of this complicated Disease and no one can do it for you! Keep up with your vaccines too! Good luck!

Treating your diabetes means controlling your blood glucose. It also means treating any other health problems you may have, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. This is a day-in, day-out responsibility -- and it's largely up to you.

Self-management requires working with healthcare providers and making changes in your lifestyle and daily routines. These changes will affect many different areas of your life, from the food you put on your plate to the steps you take to monitor your health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.