Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a care plan can help you identify how you’ll treat your condition. This plan can serve as a roadmap to managing your condition.
Ideally, a care plan helps you identify how you will manage your diabetes daily, whom to call if you have concerns, and goals to improve your overall health.
Keep reading to learn more about what your plan should include, plus tips for building an ideal care plan for diabetes.
Diabetes management requires a balance of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and blood sugar monitoring.
Your diabetes care plan should include your blood sugar management goals and methods, such as insulin dosages, device settings, and medications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines a diabetes care plan based on your daily, monthly, and other regular-interval activities. The daily parts of your diabetes care plan should include:
Your diabetes care plan should also include longer-term checks and management plans. Examples of these include the following:
At every phase of your care plan, it’s important to identify when you should call your healthcare team and who else will help you manage your health daily or in case of an emergency.
While you don’t have to be perfect, managing your health requires a plan.
Organization and planning can make all the difference. A plan helps take some of the guesswork out of your daily activities and keeps you aware of when you should seek care.
You can make your plan and manage your diabetes in different ways. Examples include:
Research from 2020 suggests that using written (or online) plans helps improve clinical management of type 2 diabetes, including decreases in cholesterol, high blood pressure, and body mass index.
When you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin by either injection, subcutaneously through an insulin pump, or with an inhaled powder form.
Some people with type 2 diabetes use insulin in these ways, but others do not and can manage their condition through other medications, food choices, and exercise.
That’s why a type 1 diabetes care plan often differs from a type 2 care plan. A type 1 plan will almost always include instructions for insulin dosage and management.
Because you are taking insulin and essentially calculating how your body might perform that same task if it could, there is more risk of both low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) and rebound high blood sugars (hyperglycemia). A diabetes care plan for type 1 diabetes should include hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia management strategies.
An important part of your diabetes care plan is how you use the supplies and medications you have. Tracking how often you need to get refills can help you avoid being without necessary medications.
You may wish to create a section for supplies in your care plan that includes the following:
These are just some examples of the considerations you can make surrounding your diabetes management supplies.
Several specialists may be involved in your diabetes care. These may include:
Your family and friends are also an important part of your care team.
When you have diabetes, you can experience episodes of high and low blood sugar. When this occurs, you may not be able to care for yourself.
It’s a good idea to share your diabetes care plan with a trusted co-worker, school nurse, or other individual who could help you if you need medical attention (even if it’s just explaining that you have diabetes and how you treat it).
If you or a loved one is in school and have diabetes, you are protected by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to create a 504 plan. This plan ensures that the school provides a medically safe environment and fair treatment. The ADA provides sample 504 plans, and the school may have examples as well.
Your diabetes care plan isn’t just for an emergency. You may also need school or work contacts to know your plan if you need extra help or time. Examples could include:
Employment rights can also be a big issue when it comes to diabetes care, and Americans have many different employment rights via the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Some of those rights under federal law might include questions relating to the following:
The ADA is a key organization that addresses employment and school rights for the Diabetes Community, and it has an entire division aimed at legal advocacy for those who might be facing these workplace or school situations.
Often, elements of these resources provided by the ADA are found in diabetes care plans — especially for those living with type 1 diabetes.
When you have diabetes, you require medications and supplies. But you may have insurance limitations or plans that require a certain pharmacy, refill schedule, or even writing on prescriptions to ensure your insurance will reimburse you.
Your insurance policy should include an explanation of benefits (EOB). This is often a very long document, and it should describe your coverage for several conditions and medications. You can also contact your insurance company if you have specific questions.
Some aspects related to insurance and diabetes care planning include:
Understandably, navigating insurance with diabetes can be overwhelming. Remember that your doctor’s office navigates insurance on a daily basis and can be a great source of guidance to help you make sure you have the supplies and medications you need when you need them.
Diabetes care plans can improve your health by helping you understand how you’re managing your condition and where you could potentially improve.
They provide a roadmap for yourself and your loved ones to how you will manage and treat your diabetes.
Talk with your doctor about how you can create a diabetes management plan that will best benefit you.
Last medically reviewed on May 27, 2022
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Current Version
May 27, 2022
Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA
Edited By
Mike Hoskins
Medically Reviewed By
Marina Basina, MD
Copy Edited By
Chris Doka
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