Has your child recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or are you concerned they show some of the symptoms? The diagnosis of diabetes can be scary because diabetes is an incurable, life-long condition. However, the sooner your child is evaluated, the better their future quality of life will be. In Southwest Florida, you don’t need to wait for your child to be evaluated for diabetes. With CORE Health Partners’ clinic to the community model, you can schedule an evaluation at one of our partner organizations located throughout Collier County and into southern Lee County. Getting an appointment at a location close to home means less stress for your child and less time off work for you.
CORE Health Partners Diabetes Specialists teach families and diabetics how to manage their blood sugar, diet, and quality of life. Studies through the American Diabetes Association have found that Diabetes Self-management Education and Support (DSMES) are associated with improved knowledge and self-care, reduced hospitalizations, reduced health care costs, and an improved quality of life. Through the DSMES program families meet with nutritionists, counselors, and watch videos or attend education sessions to learn about managing diabetes.
Diabetes evaluation and treatment programs are covered by most insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. CORE Health Partners also works with local non-profit organizations The Diabetes Alliance Network and Help a Diabetic Child to ensure patients have access to insulin, glucose monitors, additional medical supplies, and the emotional support to take charge of their future.
Per the 2021 American Diabetes Association 2021 Standards of Care, studies have found that Diabetes Self-management Education and Support (DSMES) are associated with improved diabetes knowledge and self-care behaviors, lower A1C (a test that measures average blood sugar levels over the past three months), lower self-reported weight, improved quality of life, reduced all-cause mortality risk, healthy coping, and reduced health care costs.
Despite all these demonstrated benefits of diabetes education programs, only 5% of eligible patients on Medicaid utilize the services, and only 7% of eligible patients with private insurance utilize the services.
Children are most frequently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With type 1, the body will treat certain cells produced in the pancreas like they were a bacteria or viral infection. This stops the body’s ability to produce its own insulin, which is critical for moving sugar (or glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells. Without insulin, the body builds up sugar in the bloodstream which causes heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and osteoporosis. If your child is diagnosed with type 1, you need to take action to prevent the disease from doing more damage.
Most type 1 diabetics need to manage the disease by taking insulin. The DSMES program will help your child learn about what is going on inside their body. They will learn about maintaining their blood sugar control through food monitoring and blood sugar monitoring. Children will also learn how to work with adults like counselors, teachers, and health professionals so that they feel comfortable talking about their condition at school. Caregivers will need to meet with a children’s diabetes doctor for yearly examinations and to monitor complications.
Having a child or teenager diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can feel overwhelming, and the necessary medical care and can be a hardship for the entire family. But there is something that can help make the process easier on children and parents. Diabetes Self-management Education and Support (DSMES) provides a critical lifeline to keep children healthier and more active.