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National Diabetes Month: Everyone Has a Role. What's Yours?

National Diabetes Month is observed every November to draw attention to diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans. The National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) 2015 theme Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours? highlights the need for ongoing diabetes education and support among people with diabetes and those who care for them.

Help people in your community learn more about the importance of diabetes education and support with these resources from the NDEP and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

People Living with Diabetes

If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, or you have been living with diabetes for a while, diabetes education and support are important to help you stay healthy.

Diabetes education is needed throughout your lifetime, not just at diagnosis. Learning to manage your diabetes from the start can help you have fewer health problems from diabetes later.

Having a network of support can help you better cope with the day-to-day demands of living with diabetes.

Resources for you
Resources for you

Just One Step: Change begins with Just One Step: This tool helps people break down their goals to make modest but important lifestyle changes in small, achievable steps.

Make a Plan: Making changes in how to care for health is a matter of trying and learning. It’s all about choosing a goal that’s right and working toward it. This tool provides some questions to help people get started.

Diabetes HealthSense: Diabetes HealthSense is an online library that provides easy access to more than 160 resources from more than 80 organizations that support people with diabetes, people at risk for the disease, and those who care for them in making changes to live well or facilitating behavior change in others.

For People with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure: Diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. Learn more about the kidney connection and how to take steps to keep your kidneys healthy from the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Video: Living with diabetes
Living with Diabetes: Finding the Support You Need video: This video provides people with diabetes tips for fiding support in their families, friends, and communities.
Video: Partnering with Your Diabetes Care Team
Partnering with Your Diabetes Care Team video: This video shows patients ways to work with their health care team to successfully manage their disease.

NIDDK Research

Learn more about participating in NIDDK clinical trials.

Family and Caregivers

When people have the support of their family and friends, they are able to better manage their diabetes. It is a hard disease to handle alone.

You can help your loved one cope with diabetes by showing your support.

Resources for you
Resources for you

Diabetes HealthSense: Diabetes HealthSense is an online library that provides easy access to more than 160 resources from more than 80 organizations that support people with diabetes, people at risk for the disease, and those who care for them in making changes to live well or facilitating behavior change in others.

Diabetes Resources for Older Adults: This collection of resources helps older adults learn how to better manage their diabetes or take steps to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

When Your Child is Diagnosed with Diabetes: Parents’ Questions for the Health Care Team: Parents of children with diabetes often have concerns about the disease, its impact on their family, and how to keep their children safe and healthy. Use these questions to talk with your child’s health care team and learn about your child’s diabetes care needs.

NIDDK Research

Have a family member with type 1 diabetes? Learn about Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet and get screened for your risk of type 1 diabetes.

Health Care Professionals

Your patients’ needs change over time. There are four critical times to assess, provide, and adjust diabetes self-management education and support:

  • At diagnosis
  • Annually
  • When new complicating factors (diabetes related or other) influence self-management
  • During transitions in care, such as age-related needs, changes in living situation, or new insurance that results in treatment change
Improved outcomes
Improved Outcomes

Research has shown that diabetes self-management education and support improves diabetes outcomes, including helping to reduce A1C levels; reducing the onset or advancement of diabetes complications; improving lifestyle behaviors, such as eating a more healthful diet and exercising more frequently; and decreasing diabetes-related distress and depression.

Emotional well-being is an important part of diabetes care. Encourage your patients with diabetes to ask for support. Involve the patient and family members in these discussions. Some questions to help with this conversation include:

  • How is diabetes affecting your daily life and that of your family?
  • What questions do you have?
  • What is the hardest part right now about your diabetes, causing you the most concern or is most worrisome to you about your diabetes?
  • What is one thing you are doing or can do to better manage your diabetes?
Resources for you
Resources for You

Diabetes HealthSense: Diabetes HealthSense is an online library that provides easy access to more than 160 resources from more than 80 organizations that support people with diabetes, people at risk for the disease, and those who care for them in making changes to live well or facilitating behavior change in others.

Redesigning the Health Care Team: Diabetes Prevention and Lifelong Management: This guide provides practical resources to help health care professionals and organizations implement team care for people with diabetes.

Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes: These guiding principles aim to identify and synthesize areas of general agreement among existing guidelines to help guide primary care providers and health care teams to deliver quality care to adults with or at risk for diabetes.

NIDDK Research

Learn more about NIDDK’s completed and ongoing clinical trials related to diabetes.

Learn more about NIDDK’s current funding opportunities for diabetes-related research.

Community Support

The community plays an important role in providing education and support for people with diabetes. Support can come from community settings such as schools, the workplace, senior centers, and places of worship.

Resources for you
Resources for You

Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel: This comprehensive resource guide helps students with diabetes, their health care team, school staff, and parents work together to provide optimal diabetes management in the school setting.

Transitions from Pediatric to Adult Care: This resource can help students with diabetes—as well as the families and health care professionals who support them—as teens become adults and take more responsibility for diabetes self-management and their health care needs.

Diabetes at Work: Diabetes at Work is the first online resource specifically designed to address the management of diabetes in the workplace.

Diabetes HealthSense: Diabetes HealthSense is an online library that provides easy access to more than 160 resources from more than 80 organizations that support people with diabetes, people at risk for the disease, and those who care for them in making changes to live well or facilitating behavior change in others.

Be a Health Champion: You can be a health champion, and the Weight-control Information Network can help. In this outreach packet, we provide a variety of resources and strategies to help you educate people about how to control their weight through healthy eating and physical activity.

Kidney Sundays: A Toolkit: The National Kidney Education Program’s Kidney Sundays Toolkit provides faith-based organizations with the tools and materials they need to include kidney health messages in programs and events. The materials are easy to use in a wide variety of settings with your organization.

NIDDK Research

Offering a lifestyle intervention for adults with type 2 diabetes? Access the materials used in the Look AHEAD study.

Work with youth with type 2 diabetes? Access the materials used in the TODAY study’s Lifestyle Program.

Learn more about NIDDK’s Clinical Trials.

Learn more about funding opportunities for diabetes-related research.

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Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

Education and support can help people make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent Am I at risk? type 2 diabetes.