Sweet Tricks for Diabetes Care

As nurses, we are acutely aware that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus has reached epidemic proportions in Hawaii and beyond.  I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of diabetic patients I see and struggle to meet their many care requirements!  These patients are challenged in a high- stakes game and the odds are not in their favor. Research shows that most type 2 diabetic patients do not reach optimal glycemic control.  

 So, we nurses need every tool in the box to fix this problem. I want to share some very sweet tricks for helping patients reach glycemic control, so here goes: 

  1. Snack on Tree Nuts! For diabetics who are not allergic, this is the way to go. Research informs us that tree nuts -including Macadamia nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios walnuts – and pine-nuts (yes, the delicious Italian pignoli-main an ingredient in pesto) are not just yummy snacks, they actually lower blood glucose! This makes them the preferred snack food for people with diabetes.  Needless to say, this excludes the candy-coated varieties!
  2. Oral Meds Are not necessarily the best choice. Oral agents may not be the best option for a number of reasons not the least of which are efficacy & side-effects. For optimum results, therapy for uncontrolled patients should be advanced every 12 weeks.   
  3. Insulin is a good thing. Even though you may have been taught that pens are expensive and combination insulins difficult to titrate, they have been repeatedly shown to be the top choices for promoting adherence
  4. The 10 second check for neuropathy. The first sign of sensory neuropathy in the diabetic foot is loss of vibratory send in the great toe.  Put the big tuning fork in your pocket have them close their eyes Then use it!
  5. Veggies are important.  Research informs us that a plant-based diet is a huge advantage when trying to achieve glycemic control.  I don’t really understand this finding because plants are often starchy but the research is reliable & valid!

There are hundreds of sweet tricks and quick clinical pearls that help us help our patients.  For more information, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18525065

OR JOIN US ON OCTOBER 16 in Waikiki for CARING FOR THE DIABETIC PATIENT: COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT & TREATMENT UPDATE

Hope to see you then!

Leslie