How Working with a Diabetes Coach Can Help You Reach Your Goals
It’s well known that managing your diabetes well can help prevent the development of diabetes-related complications but despite the benefits, diabetes can feel like a full-time job on top of an already full plate. Maybe you know what you need to do to get in better control but it seems to get pushed to the backburner or maybe all the conflicting information on the best plan or diet has you throwing your hands up and hesitate to make any changes at all. Whatever the scenario, working with a diabetes coach can help you formulate an individualized plan, stay on track and avoid diabetes burnout along the way.
What is a Diabetes Coach and What To Look For
While there is no formal definition of a diabetes coach there are some important characteristics you will want to keep in mind when selecting someone to work with.
Educational Background and Experience
- Diabetes is a complex chronic condition that is constantly changing, not only due to the progressive nature of the disease but the rapidly changing therapies to treat it. Choosing a diabetes coach with who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator ensures your coach has an extensive background in diabetes management as well as required continuing education to keep up the respected credential.
Communication Style and Method
- When deciding on a diabetes coach it’s a good idea to ask questions about their communication style and methods to ensure it’s a good fit. How often will you meet? Will it be in person, or virtually? How often will you share blood sugar logs? Will you keep a food journal? What about been visit support, how accessible will the coach be? These are just a few examples to get you started but asking questions to ensure both parties are on the same page will be essential.
- Equally as important, is finding someone that you have a good rapport with. You will be communicating with your coach frequently and honestly sharing insights on your daily meals, moods, blood sugar, etc. can be very personal. It’s important to find someone that you trust and feel comfortable sharing this information with.
What to Expect in Working with a diabetes coach
The experience in working with a diabetes coach will look different depending on who you decide to work with however you should generally be able to expect to develop a relationship with someone advocating for your care. You should be able to talk through your goals and concerns related to your diabetes and feel supported in coming up with an action plan. Prior to your follow up visits with your doctor you should also be able to expect a session to talk through questions to ask, upcoming labs and concerns.