Diabetes Self-Management Program
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease affecting our nation and is a widespread problem in our own community. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood due to the body's problem with insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can be controlled and properly managed. However, if left untreated it can result in kidney disease, limb amputation, blindness, and nervous system damage. The cost associated with treating these conditions is steep, about 2.4 times greater on average than someone without diabetes.
- Average A1c improvement among diabetes management program participants over the past year is .91%.
- Participants overwhelmingly indicate on program evaluation and customer satisfaction surveys that the classes provided valuable information that helps them better manage their diabetes.
- On average, participants who attended at least 75% of the classes had the most success. So full participation is important!
The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County recognizes the threat diabetes poses to the community and provides diabetes self-management education. Education sessions are located throughout Hillsborough County in both English and Spanish. Locations are based on need, request, and overall convenience for the community.
Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) is not a substitute for diagnosis, treatment, or health management by a physician or other health care provider. The program expands on the education and support received through providers and reinforces the importance of lifestyle in chronic disease management. Much of diabetes management rests in the hands of the individual and daily self-care such as monitoring blood sugar, taking medications, problem-solving, following a healthy diet, and participating in regular physical activity are all necessary to maintain adequate control and reduce complications due to diabetes. DSME is a powerful tool that can be used to facilitate improved self-care through education, support, and development of coping and problem-solving skills.
DSME is led by a Registered Dietitian, supported by Registered Dietitians, Registered Nurses, and Health Educators. This program is based on the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education. Provider referrals are encouraged.