Diabetes Ireland unveils “Diabetes Smart” a free online education programme for people with Type 2 diabetes

  • With GPs currently heavily overstretched, this programme will provide them with an educational tool where they can refer their Type 2 patients too so they can learn about their condition and manage it more effectively.
  • Estimated that 266,664 people live with diabetes in Ireland and of those, 234,398 live with type 2 diabetes.
  • According to a recent 2021 Healthy Ireland survey, it is expected that the number of people with Type 2 diabetes will increase by 60% over the next 10-15 years.

Diabetes SMART is a free interactive online education platform available at www.diabeteseducation.ie developed by Diabetes Ireland with support from Novo Nordisk. This free interactive programme has been updated to meet increasing demand from people with Type 2 diabetes who want to learn more about their condition and how to manage it effectively.

Due to the significant burden placed on GP’s and the health care system over the last two years because of the Covid 19 pandemic, many people with Type 2 diabetes have not had regular review appointments with their GP or their diabetes team.  Diabetes Smart is a valuable resource that will give those especially diagnosed within the last 2 years the opportunity to educate themselves about their condition and how to manage it effectively and will also act as a refresher programme for the thousands of people who are living with Type 2 diabetes for longer. It is also a good education tool for GP’s and health professionals to promote to their patients.

The Diabetes SMART programme contains six interactive modules, covering topics that explains what diabetes is, understanding the key medical information such as blood glucose levels, managing illness, and provides lots of tips on healthy eating and getting active. The course can be completed whenever and wherever suits can be paused, and continued at any time, and is accessible via a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

The programme has been developed by diabetes healthcare professionals to support a busy lifestyle and participants can pause their interactive learning at any stage of the journey and resume with ease. This resource will give people with Type 2 diabetes the knowledge and accessible tools to learn how to manage their condition from the comfort of their own home and protect their future health.

Speaking about her Type 2 diabetes journey, Deirdre McTeigue who has trialled the programme said: “I really liked the visuals and the videos. As I’m newly diagnosed, I’m finding it all a bit daunting, I like that I can go back and look at the diagrams /videos again.  I also like that I can share the material with my husband and children so they can understand and better support me. Especially as it’s also online, I can share it with my family. I find that they are now more willing to come out walking with me and more encouraging with the diet.  Having Diabetes is restrictive, but I now know very manageable, and we can’t say that about a lot of illnesses.”

Sinead Powell, Senior Dietitian, Regional Development Officer (Northeast Area), Diabetes Ireland speaking about the Diabetes Smart said: “We in Diabetes Ireland frequently hear how a diagnosis of diabetes can be difficult to accept as people have to learn to adapt to a whole new way of living. The pandemic has meant that some people living with Type 2 diabetes have felt more isolated or have had restricted or reduced access to healthcare professionals. This free educational resource provides support and advice to people in the comfort of their own homes. It uses real-life stories of people living with it to guide users in managing and taking control of their condition, so they can approach their diagnosis with a sense of purpose and help them formulate their own treatment goals.”

According to the 2021 Healthy Ireland survey, diabetes is the third most diagnosed condition in Irelandi, and it is expected that the number of people with Type 2 diabetes will increase by 60% over the next 10-15 yearsii.  Type 2 diabetes has a profound impact on the quality of life of people living with the condition. People with Type 2 diabetes also run a greater risk of developing one or more severe health complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, and lower limb amputation, which can greatly impact their independence and quality of life. However, through effective management strategies people living with it can significantly improve their health and reduce the risk of developing more severe health issues and potentially even reverse their condition.

Owen Treacy from Novo Nordisk said: “We are delighted to support Diabetes Ireland in developing this important educational platform to help people who live with Type 2 diabetes to educate themselves on how to manage their condition effectively. I would encourage anyone who has recently been diagnosed and anyone who is living with Type 2 diabetes for longer to check out this free resource which addresses and provides tips and advice around the many challenges people living with Type 2 diabetes face every day.”

Diabetes Smart is an online resource available 24/7 giving the participant the freedom to avail of this resource at any stage of their journey. Take a step to protect your health today and visit Diabetes Smart Online at www.diabeteseducation.ie to find out how you can manage Type 2 diabetes or learn more about how to support someone living with this chronic condition.

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