A Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE) is a health professional (often registered nurses, registered dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, and doctors) who has a comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes management and prevention.
If you’re diabetic, they can teach you how to understand and manage the disease. CDEs promote self-management to achieve your treatment goals so you can have the best possible outcome. They’ve gone through extensive training and exams to provide the education you need to manage your condition.
You can meet with CDEs one-on-one or in group classes. They’ll give you guidance on daily diabetes care, nutrition, medication, exercise, and coping skills. They educate both you and your family on how to manage and improve your health.
When do you see a CDE?
Experts recommend you see a CDE when you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, so you have the foundation you need for your treatment and management. After that you should see a CDE annually (to make sure you’re staying on track), anytime you develop other health problems (to learn how to handle the new issue along with your diabetes), and if you switch doctors or healthcare teams.
Typically, your doctor must refer you to a CDE. Once referred, you’ll meet with your CDE one-on-one for an assessment and basic education. You may then be referred to group classes, or additional individual sessions based on your needs, where you’ll learn skills to manage the disease in a variety of areas (diet, exercise, medication, problem solving, reducing risks, monitoring, coping, etc.). You’ll also schedule follow-up visits as needed.
Working with a certified diabetes educator can help you gain practical, effective strategies to keep your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor. When you find the right combination of nutrition, exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and medication or insulin for you, you’ll be healthier, have more energy and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications.
Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for years, there’s a program that fits your needs.
Sources: Cone Health, National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators