About the Author:
Guest Blogger Timika Chambers, MSN, BSN, RN, CDE, has been a Registered Nurse for over 18 years and has a Masters in Nurse Education. She also has over 10 years of Diabetes Self-Management Training experience and is a Certified Diabetes Educator. Her mission is to educate, empower, inspire, and motivate others to make positive health choices. Timika serves individuals with diabetes and prediabetes, as well as healthcare professionals who desire to enhance their knowledge and skills in diabetes management.
A few weeks ago, a previous nursing student, whom I will call Amy, responded to one of my blogs about diabetes myths. She questioned if diabetes can be reversed, or if people can go into remission once their blood sugar returns to a normal range. Amy was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several months ago, and after losing 20 pounds because of lifestyle changes, her A1c returned to normal. When Amy returned to her physician for a follow-up appointment, her physician was reluctant to say she had diabetes because her A1c was now normal. Although Amy left her physician’s office feeling good about her accomplishments, she was confused. Did she have diabetes or not?
I responded to Amy and confirmed what she thought was true. Although there have been many medical and technical advances in diabetes management, currently there is no cure for diabetes. Several clinical trial initiatives are going on, and they are focused on preventing, delaying, and/or reversing diabetes and prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association’s website has a list of clinical trials that they support.
It is paramount that diabetes educators and other healthcare professionals dispel myths associated with diabetes. Our message has to be clear and consistent to help serve those diagnosed with this chronic condition.
Amy now knows, without a doubt, that once you have been properly diagnosed with diabetes, you have diabetes. While many individuals with type 2 diabetes can control their diabetes with lifestyle management, others may need medications, including insulin to control their blood sugar. I praised Amy and encouraged her to continue with her healthy habits and to keep her scheduled care appointments with her physician. However, she will still need her A1c checked periodically, at least twice a year if her A1c is within the recommended range.
Although I was a bit surprised to read that there is still some confusion about whether diabetes can be cured, the conversation between Amy and her physician confirmed the role and use of diabetes educators. It is paramount that diabetes educators and other healthcare professionals dispel myths associated with diabetes. Our message has to be clear and consistent to help serve those diagnosed with this chronic condition.
There are no quick fixes for managing diabetes. An expert in diabetes management such as a diabetes educator can help people with diabetes understand their diagnosis and provide them with the resources and tools to help them manage their health.
Please share any experiences or stories that you have related to diabetes myths.