For diabetes, prevention takes place through both patient education and patient care. Such efforts should seek to:
- prevent the disease among patients at risk;
- and prevent or reverse the effects of the disease among patients diagnosed with diabetes.
Patients must take charge of their health for prevention to work. Preventive steps focus on many factors, including:
- helping individuals understand their risk;
- assisting individuals in lowering their risk;
- managing diabetes in a way that keeps patients from needing care in the
Emergency Room or from specialists;
- motivating patients to get exercise and start eating right;
- committing patients to getting the three annual tests recommended* for
individuals with diabetes;
- and urging patients to take advantage of periodic consultation with a dietician.
A good prevention program will work intensely with the pre-diabetes patient, with the diabetic patient who remains unsymptomatic, and with the individual whose diabetes is causing or contributing to other conditions. Finding a good primary physician or diabetes specialist, and completing a quality diabetes-education course, is the best preventive start for all patients.