What is a certified diabetes educator?

A certified diabetes educator or CDE is a specialized health professional who is certified in skills that help people with diabetes learn how to manage their own health. 

Participating in a self-management educational program can help people lower their A1C levels by approximately 2 percent, and could reduce the need for medication. Given this effective reduction in A1C, it is evident why self-management education must be included early in the treatment plan.

Due to the complexity of food and nutrition issues for regulating a referral to a registered dietitian (RD) skilled in the current recommendations of diabetes care (preferably who is also a certified diabetes educator) is strongly recommended. An initial series of education is recommended to be completed within three to six months of diagnosis of diabetes is optimal. 

The CDE can also assist your primary care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) by recommending lab work, alternative medications, and lifestyle options that will allow you to meet your health goals.

The CDE title represents that the professional has developed the knowledge and skills to help you care for yourself by developing and promoting your skills to be able to manage your own health successfully. This essentially is called diabetes self management education or DSME and is meant to help you feel more control over your health and health decisions.

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