Diabetes: A Different Approach to Care through Health Coaching

When you have diabetes, life can be a challenge. You must be careful what you eat, monitor your blood sugar several times a day and make sure you take your medication. You may also be concerned about complications such as neuropathy, glaucoma and gum disease. All this worry can lead to feelings of helplessness and defeat. Learn how health coaching can give you a fresh perspective and put you in control in the effective management of your diabetes.

What is Health Coaching?

Health coaching is a person-centered approach to wellness, not just disease management. When you visit with a health coach, he or she will get to know you as a person and work with you to create a personalized wellness plan that educates, motivates and empowers you.

Unlike some diabetes treatments, health coaching is not a lifelong commitment. You may have heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”?

Well, health coaching operates on the same principle. It is designed to help you find the tools within yourself to make positive changes in your behavior and lifestyle. Just like any new skill learned, these techniques will become a part of you and the coach will no longer be necessary.

Why Health Coaching?

Doctors are busy in their medical practice. If you have a question or concern you need addressed immediately, it’s often hard to book a quick appointment or get the doctor on the phone right away. This can be discouraging. A health coach can step in to fill these gaps between visits.

Health coaching can be a very effective way to manage diabetes because once you’ve developed your wellness plan your coach is available via phone call, email or text message throughout the period you’ve agreed to work together. This means if you have a question while you’re on the commuter train or a concern while sitting in a restaurant, your coach is just a call or click away.

How Will Health Coaching Help with Diabetes?

According to a clinical trial done by Duke University, health coaching improves patient accountability and clinical outcomes.

During your meetings your coach will help you connect with what’s most important in your life. This will help you set realistic goals and help you better stick to a long-term program. You’ll learn how to make simple, yet critical lifestyle changes that will compliment your current diabetes treatments and may even eliminate the need for them altogether.

Examples of these changes are:

Diet

Diet is crucial in the effective management of diabetes. There are certain foods that help and others that hinder effective diabetes management. Your health coach can tell you more.

Exercise and Weight Management

Weight management is another critical component in the effective management of diabetes. You and your health coach will tailor a fitness plan just for you.

Stress Management

With the hustle and bustle of modern life, stress can add to diabetes complications. A health coach will help you learn to use your own inner resources to keep stress levels low.

When you work with a health coach, you’ll receive the tools, guidance and support you need to effectively manage your diabetes and reach your wellness goals.

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