Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease, and while it is not currently curable, it is manageable. According to the Texas Demographic Center, more than 2.3 million Texans have been diagnosed with the disease.
“Texas A&M AgriLife is involved in health and wellness initiatives to improve the overall quality of life for Texans,” said Danielle Krueger, AgriLife Extension Do Well Be Well program manager, College Station.
Krueger said the seven self-paced modules were developed to help people with Type 2 diabetes learn how to manage their blood glucose through basic nutrition and self-care management.
She said it should take from five to seven hours in total to complete the entire series, but participants can go in and out of individual modules and complete them in their own time.
The Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes program is beneficial to several audiences, including those who have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, have had diabetes for many years, or are the spouse or caregiver of someone with diabetes.
“The series is also useful for those with prediabetes in helping them understand what they can do to keep from developing Type 2 diabetes,” she said.
Krueger said each module has been developed by a registered dietician and is presented in a concise, factual manner along with activities for building diabetes-management skills. Each has been updated with the most current medical information on diabetes and refers to additional resources.
“The program teaches participants the skills to effectively manage their diabetes or reduce the risk of developing diabetes through better nutrition, exercise and monitoring blood-sugar levels,” she said.
Modules contain information on how food affects blood glucose, the proper method to test blood glucose, understanding medications and how to incorporate foods into a healthy eating pattern.
“The cost of this entire series is about the same as you’d be charged as a copay for a single visit to a registered dietician,” Krueger said. “It’s a very reasonable price to pay for a lot of up-to-date research-based practical information and guidance on how to manage diabetes.”
She added diabetes education provides an opportunity for those with Type 2 diabetes to better understand how to manage it through healthy eating, being physically active and following proper self-care management.
“Those who participate in an evidence-based diabetes education program have shown to delay and prevent further complications associated with Type 2 diabetes,” Krueger noted.