New experiences bring opportunities to rise or shrink away in fear. What makes the difference? We might go back to the eternal question about nature versus nurture in an attempt to determine if resiliency is an external or internal factor. Taking a moment to step back to gain an increased perspective, both are relevant and important when treating diabetes.
 
Living with a chronic disease, especially diabetes can be an overwhelming challenge for the individual diagnosed. Influence is also made upon family, friends, co-workers, and the community. It is safe to say that no man is an island. There is a ripple effect which comes with each person who acquires diabetes.
 
Just as diabetes can impact each system of the body, it also extends to social systems. Traditionally diabetes treatment addressed the biological components. With increasing rates, additional treatment options and resources are needed.
 
Much research has been directed towards the development of new oral medications, insulin, blood glucose monitoring systems, and dietary programs. Today, there are many resources and treatments to assist in metabolic control; however, many individuals with diabetes still are not able to implement the self-care behaviors to keep blood sugars in the recommended range. What are the barriers? Is it a lack of knowledge, social support, motivation, and or financial resources?
 
As providers, we must provide comprehensive care. We must take a bio-psycho-social approach and implement systems theory to aid in proper diabetes management.
 
I would like to hear your thoughts regarding these issues. What services are being provided to address emotional, behavioral, and social barriers? How do you address risk factors? What is being done to take a “step-up” to facilitate an improved quality of life for those impacted by diabetes?
 
Future posts will focus on specific barriers and suggested methods of treatment.