Assisting Patients in Managing Diabetes at Home: Best Practices for Healthcare Providers

30th August 2023

Assisting Patients in Managing Diabetes at Home: Best Practices for Healthcare Providers 

This week’s blog, begins a series of three, focusing on diabetes and self-management. This week, Dr Linda Edwards, explores the latest diabetes research and how to encourage self-management.

The latest research

Until recently it was thought that type 2 diabetes was a progressive and deteriorating condition. However, thanks to the work of leading academic researchers and practicing clinicians, Roy Taylor, David Unwin, David Cavan, and others we now know that this is not the case. Type 2 diabetes is caused by an excess of fat within the liver and pancreas; it usually starts very slowly and can build up over several years. Dr Taylor, Professor of Medicine at Newcastle University, has recorded a five minute video that explains this.

Alongside Dr Taylor’s work, GP David Unwin and Dr David Cavan, a consultant endocrinologist, have collated evidence that shows by actively engaging people in their own health and wellbeing they can avoid becoming diabetic in the first place; and those with Type 2 can manage their condition so effectively that it can go into remission (reversal).

Small lifestyle changes

The initial diagnosis can be very scary for many people; however, by taking time to understand people’s lifestyles and what is important to them, healthcare professionals can guide and support people with diabetes to make small changes. Small changes integrated into lifestyles can make a big difference and as people’s confidence grows, they take more personal control. Some people will need a list of dos and don’ts, whereas others will need one or two specific things to change. Developing a coaching approach to consultations will enable people and ensure they have the support they need at a pace that works for them.

Lifestyle medicine

David Unwin, who has been a practicing GP in Southport for many years, has shown that by taking a coaching approach, or practicing what he terms ‘Lifestyle Medicine’, HCPs can enable people with diabetes to take back control. This approach with Dr Unwin’s patients, means many of them no longer rely on routine medication to manage their health. Read more about Dr Unwin’s Low Carb Diet Sheet and approach

The coaching approach

Dr Cavan has been working with clinicians across the globe and written several helpful books to assist people in reversing or enabling their diabetes to go into remission. An argument often made is that taking a coaching approach takes more time in an already pressured system. However, by taking that time initially, less time is taken later as people learn how to manage their health and wellbeing more effectively, reducing the pressure on the system. To find out more about how a coaching approach to health and wellbeing can impact health outcomes, take a look at our previous blog.

Want to learn more?

We provide a range of diabetes courses for health and care professionals. Our portfolio includes introductory workshops such as our Essentials of Diabetes and our Diabetes Refresher, alongside diploma, undergraduate level and postgraduate level modules. Take a look at our course portfolio to find out more

Next up

The next blog in this series of three, will examine the relationship between food and diabetes.