Using a Health Coach to Manage Diabetes
The new breed of expert who can help you on your path to health.
Whether you want to quit smoking, change your diet, take your medication on schedule, check your blood sugar more frequently, lose weight, or get into an exercise routine, altering your lifestyle to better manage diabetes and reduce your risk of complications can be challenging, especially if you have more than a little tweaking to do. Old habits die hard and diabetes can seem overwhelming. Enter the health coach, a new breed of expert who can help you adopt healthier behaviors and turn them into long-term habits.
What is a Health Coach?
Health coaches are different from diabetes educators, registered dietitians, or physicians. "Conventional medicine often starts from the expert perspective of, ‘this is what you need to do,'" says Ruth Q. Wolever, Ph.D., a lifestyle coaching advisor at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. Health coaches, on the other hand, aren't directive. Instead, they take a problem-solving approach and help you discover what motivates you to want to make better health choices. "People sustain behavior change when it's linked to something meaningful," Wolever says. Tapping into what makes your life worth living fortifies your motivation, self-confidence, and self-regulation skills so you can create a behavior-change plan that's aligned with your values. But unlike working with a therapist, you won't spend time analyzing the past. With a health coach, your focus will be solely on the future.
- Edelman D, et al, "A Multidimensional Integrative Medicine Intervention to Improve Cardiovascular Risk," J Gen Intern Med 2006: 21:728-734.
- "Integrative Health Coaching for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes," The Diabetes Educator July/August 2012 vol 36 no 4 629-639, Ruth Q. Wolever, Ph.D. lead author; http://tde.sagepub.com/content/36.4/629.short.
- Interview: Margaret Moore. CEO, Wellcoaches Corporation
- Interview: Ruth Quillian Wolever, Ph.D. Research director Duke Integrative Medicine Advisor on Research, Behavioral Health & Lifestyle Coaching Duke Diet and Fitness Center
Prosciutto Wrapped Olives Hawaiian Pineapple Beef Cranberry-Corn-Pepper Salsa Pumpkin Vegetable Stew Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Gluten Free) Summery Fruit Parfait Mold Citrus Custard Teriyaki Marinated Salmon Salad The Best Ever Beef Stew
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...