Nutritional Counseling for Diabetes Patients - What You Need to Know

chronic care clinical topics diabetes interviews Jan 31, 2023
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Diabetes might be one of the most challenging chronic conditions to manage. It definitely requires a lot of partnership between provider and patient; you may find yourself spending more time with your diabetic patient than any other group of patients in your practice. It is a very dynamic condition that can vary a lot, both for the individual patient as well as among all the diabetic patients that you work with. This variation can make it very challenging for Nurse Practitioners, even seasoned ones.

One of the first things to address with diabetic patients is diet. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a very complex subject, and one that Nurse Practitioners often don’t learn a lot about in school. Add to that the fact that there is a ton of information available to patients about diet – some of which may be not so accurate – and it can be really easy to get really overwhelmed in the visit.

A simple solution would be to refer the patient to a Registered Dietitian, but many of us either don’t have access to one, or have long wait time before the patient can be seen – meanwhile, the patient needs quality advice about diet and nutrition now.

How To Use Nutrition As Part Of Overall Diabetes Management

We talked with Nurse Practitioner and Registered Dietitian, Meghan Kavanaugh, about her work with diabetic patients. The interview was such a hit that we brought her back again to answer all of your questions about the nutritional aspects of helping your patients with diabetes. This week, we get answers to your questions, and more, including:

  • Where to start with nutritional counseling for diabetic patients
  • How motivational interviewing can help with nutrition counseling
  • Realistic strategies that patients can start using as soon as they leave your visit
  • The importance of understanding the patient’s lifestyle in order to optimize their diabetes management

Diabetes can be a tough condition to manage; nutrition is at the foundation of good management, but not all patients have the same experience when it comes to food. Patients that travel, patients that have limited access to certain foods, patients who have religious reasons for eating or not eating certain foods, patients who simply have preferences for certain foods over others – all of these things must be kept in mind as we create strategies to help our patients manage their diet and their diabetes.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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