Managing Diabetes

“The program showed me that I can have diabetes and still live my life.” —Diane

If you are one of the millions of people living with diabetes, we have good news to help you live a better quality of life. Participating in a self-management education (SME) program can help you learn skills to manage your diabetes more effectively by checking blood sugar regularly, eating healthy food, being active, taking medicines as prescribed, and handling stress.

black woman smiling on the beach

SME programs have been shown to:

  • Lower A1C levels.
  • Prevent or reduce diabetes complications.
  • Improve quality of life.
  • Lower your medical expenses.

The bottom line is that people who have the information and support they need to manage their diabetes are healthier than people who do not. Find out how an SME program can help you learn more and feel better.

Diabetes-Specific SME Programs
Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)

Cost: The cost can vary depending on if it is covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid in some states.
Format: The programs can be taught in a group or individual setting and can be offered in person, online, or by phone.

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services provide information and skills for people to manage their diabetes and related conditions. DSMES is tailored to your individual needs, goals, and life experiences and is guided by evidence-based standards. You’ll learn how to eat healthy, be physically active, monitor blood sugar levels, take medication, problem solve, reduce risk for other health conditions, cope with the emotional side of diabetes, and improve your health and quality of life. DSMES is led by a diabetes educator like a registered nurse, registered dietician, or pharmacist.

It’s important to receive DSMES services when you’re first diagnosed. There are three other times DSMES can help you manage your diabetes that include at your yearly follow-up visits with your doctor, if health complications arise, and when changes in your care occur.

Topics include:

  • Understanding diabetes and diabetes treatment.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Being physically active.
  • Taking medicine.
  • Checking your blood sugar.
  • Reducing your risk for other health problems.
  • Learning to cope with stress, depression, and other concerns.

Your doctor may refer you to a specific program. If not, visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators website to find a program in your areaExternal.

Diabetes Self-Management Program

Cost: The cost varies by organization, but rarely is more than $50.
Format: This course is offered as an in-person workshop.

About the Program

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) is a 6-week group program for people with type 2 diabetes. The program was developed by Stanford University to help you manage your diabetes symptoms, tiredness, pain, and emotional issues, by helping you learn skills to better manage your diabetes day to day.

Program Details

This interactive workshop meets for 2.5 hours a week in various community locations. It is delivered by two trained leaders, one or both of whom have diabetes.

Topics include:

  • Ways to deal with diabetes symptoms, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear, and frustration.
  • Exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Taking medications as prescribed.
  • Working more effectively with health care providers.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Diabetes Self-Management Program.External Locate a program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership CouncilExternal website.

Programa de Manejo Personal de la Diabetes (Spanish Diabetes Self-Management Program) 

Cost: Varies by organization, rarely more than $50.
Format: In-person workshop.

About the Program

Programa de Manejo Personal de la Diabetes, also known as Spanish Diabetes Self-Management Program (SDSMP), is a 6-week group program for Spanish-speaking people with type 2 diabetes. Stanford University developed this program to help people with diabetes learn how to eat and sleep better and manage daily activities more effectivel. Learning these self-management skills can help you deal with the symptoms of diabetes, including tiredness, pain, and emotional issues.

Program Details

All the workshop sessions are in Spanish. It is very similar to the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), but is developed to be culturally appropriate for Spanish speaking adults.  The interactive workshops are 2.5 hours per week in convenient community locations.

Topics include:

  • Techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes– fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear, and frustration.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Taking medications as prescribed.
  • Working more effectively with health care providers.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Programa de Manejo Personal de la Diabetes.External Locate a program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership Council website.

General Chronic Disease SME Programs
The SME programs that follow are for people with any chronic health condition.

 

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Cost: The cost varies by organization, but rarely is more than $50.
Format: This course is offered as an in-person workshop.

About the Program

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is an interactive workshop for people with all types of chronic conditions. Stanford University developed this course to help people with one or more chronic conditions learn the strategies to manage their condition and have the confidence to carry them out.

Program Details

This interactive workshop meets for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks in convenient community locations. The instructors are trained leaders, at least one of whom has a chronic condition. This workshop is known by a variety of different names, including Living Well.

The program is also available in Spanish.

Subjects covered include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Managing depression.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.External

Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership CouncilExternal website.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active Living

Cost: $43.96.
Format: Self-study toolkit.

About the Program

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Tool Kit for Active Living provides much of the same information as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) in a self-study format that you can receive by mail.

Program Details

The tool kit helps you construct your own self-management plan to deal with your chronic condition(s) through exercise, and strategies to reduce stress, fatigue, pain and other symptoms. It encourages goal setting, action planning, and thinking and acting proactively. You can work through the toolkit at your own pace, focusing on areas most important to you.

The program is also available in Spanish.

The self-study kit includes:

  • The workbook Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.
  • Information Sheets briefly describing common problems and helpful solutions.
  • A self-test that helps you identify elements and set priorities for a personal self-management plan.
  • Action Plan description with instruction and examples for developing unique plan.
  • Exercise Action Plan with hints and instruction on use of the other exercise and activity materials, Relaxation CD and Exercise CD.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active Living.ExternalExternal

Tomando Control de su Salud

Cost: The cost varies by organization, but rarely is more than $50.
Format: This course is offered as an in-person workshop.

About the Program

This course, developed by Stanford University, is an interactive workshop for Spanish speaking adults with all types of chronic conditions. If you have one or more chronic condition, this program can help you learn the strategies and skills to manage your health and your condition(s) more effectively and live your everyday life.

Program Details

All the workshop sessions are held in Spanish. It is very similar to the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), but was developed to be culturally appropriate for Spanish speaking adults. Workshop sessions last for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks at convenient community locations.

Topics include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Managing depression.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Appropriate use of the health care system.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about Tomando Control de su Salud.External

Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership CouncilExternal website.