Diabetes Self-Management: An Introduction to the ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors 

Listen to Diabetes: The Basics—Introduction Audio—Note: Audio not updated

Updated 2021 by Kim Ladd, RN, BS, CPHQ, CDCES 

The most effective diabetes self-management treatment includes a combination of many therapies and behaviors. The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) focuses on 7 key behaviors that lead to optimum diabetes self-management and good health. These are called the ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors, and they include:   

  1. Healthy coping:  recognizing negative emotions and taking steps to reduce the detrimental impact they can have on your self-care is an important part of diabetes management.  
  2. Healthy eating:  preparing and eating a healthy diet, understanding and reading food labels, and portion control. When you have diabetes it’s very important to understand how the foods you eat affect your blood sugar levels. 
  3. Being active:  engaging in appropriate physical activity and exercise while following necessary precautions. Being active helps to lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, lower stress and anxiety, and improve your mood. 
  4. Monitoring:  tracking blood sugar levels allows you to make food and activity adjustments to help ensure that your diabetes is being properly managed. It’s also important to monitor your blood pressure, foot health, steps walked, weight and activity, sleep, and achievement of goals, to help you stay on the path of good health.  
  5. Taking medication:  taking medications in pill, injectable, liquid, and other forms as directed by your physician is a very important part of controlling blood sugar levels.
  6. Problem solving: diabetes management problems like hypoglcemia/hyperglycemia, and sick days are very common. It’s important to utilize problem-solving skills to help prepare for when these unexpected problems occur — and plan for dealing with problems in the future.  
  7. Reducing risks: when diabetes is not properly managed, other health complications occur. It is important to help reduce your risk of complications by quitting smoking, performing foot checks, blood pressure monitoring, self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and getting regular eye, foot, and dental examinations. 

The Diabetes Self-Management guide will provide information to help you live well with diabetes. Audio versions and transcripts are included for each of the 7 lessons.