What is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)?


Jessica Masterson, RDN, CDE, CDN proudly carries this board certification and is a valuable asset to our practice. A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is board certified through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). The board defines a CDE as a health care professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes prevention, prediabetes, and diabetes management. The CDE educates, supports, and advocates for people affected by diabetes, addressing the stages of diabetes throughout the lifespan. Additionally, a CDE promotes self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that reduce risks and optimize health outcomes.


There are several health care professionals who are eligible to obtain a CDE certification, however a CDE who is also an RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) has the unique perspective of being a professional nutrition expert in addition to a diabetes expert. Because diabetes is a condition that is primarily controlled by diet and lifestyle, it makes sense to choose an RDN CDE for your diabetes management. The RDN is a health care professional who is distinctively qualified to provide education on all of the aspects of nutrition: including biochemistry of vitamins and minerals, digestion of food, nutrition and its effect on mental and physical health, metabolism of food, vitamins and minerals, hormonal effects of nutrition, preparation of food, sources of micro and macronutrients and much more. To learn more about the RDN credential, click HERE. 


How Can a RDN CDE Help You?


There are many things that effect the health of an individual with diabetes; food and nutrition are two of the biggest things that you have the most control over. A RDN CDE can provide valuable insight into how your food choices are affecting your diabetes. In addition, they can help you understand your medications, practice effective blood glucose testing, comprehend your blood glucose results, navigate the social and economical impacts of diabetes and understand all of the tools and technology available to help you manage your diabetes.


A RDN CDE can help not only individuals with diabetes, but also individuals with pre-diabetes, glucose intolerance, hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes and people with a strong family history of diabetes. The following is a list of  5 important elements of care Jessica is highly trained to help you with!


 1: Nutrition & Diet


A RDN CDE can help you develop a meal plan that will stabilize your blood sugars, help you maximize the effectives of your medication, prevent/delay complications and obtain your weight goals. This is not a diet but a lifestyle that you can enjoy and maintain.


Here at Buffalo Nutrition & Dietetics, we take the time to get to know you, your preferences and your lifestyle so we can work with you to provide an eating plan that will be realistic and effective for you.


Some simple changes to your way of eating can have a large impact on your blood glucose and progression of diabetes.


 2: Medication


Not everybody who has diabetes needs to take medication, but a lot of people do. Sometimes medication is essential to helping you maintain your health. A RDN CDE can help you understand your medications and how they work in your body. Jessica will educate you on the types of medications you are taking for your diabetes to help you achieve the best possible outcomes. A CDE can also provide instruction on injection techniques for injectable medications. Jessica can review your medications and possible alternatives that your doctor may want to consider.


3: Social and Economic Impacts of Diabetes


Diabetes can be expensive! Medications, testing supplies, glucose tablets: it can all add up! Sometimes there are some cost saving options out there that you may not be aware of; between reduced medication prices based on financial state, or pharmacy discount cards or access to reduce cost testing supplies. A CDE can help you find these resources.


Jessica feels strongly that superior life style choices (improved nutrition and exercise) can have an impact on your health, and anytime you improve you health there is a possibility of decrease health care costs.


The social impact of diabetes is often overlooked at by other health care professionals. A RDN CDE is better equipped to understand how it may be difficult getting used to taking your insulin injection at a restaurant or testing your blood sugar during a work meeting. Some of these things are unavoidable, but Jessica understands that sometimes no matter how badly you want to do everything right it may not always be possible or comfortable to do exactly what you have been advised. She takes your social concerns and lifestyle into account while developing a plan for you.


4: Technology


Diabetes technology is a growing field. What tools are safe, what tools can benefit you? There are lots of options out there between glucometers, glucose sensors, apps, software, bolus advisors and insulin pumps. Jessica can help answer your questions and find what options out there may benefit you.


Jessica can provide glucometer training, how to test your blood sugar, how to track your blood glucose and help you interpret the results.


5: Pre and Post Insulin Pump Training


Jessica can help you understand the basics of insulin pumps and discuss the different types of pumps available. She can also review the pros and cons of insulin pumps. If you have been on a pump for a while, it helps to brush up on your knowledge. Jessica has seen many individuals in the past who were not utilizing the advanced features of their pump. If you are just using it for your basal and bolus insulin, there is so much more you can be doing with your insulin pump!  

Jessica's Approach to Diabetes Care and Education


"I believe it is about looking at the whole person and finding what the most effective treatment options are for you. If it is not realistic for you; it is not going to work. I take my time to get to know you and help you find resources that will best benefit you. My goal is to incorporate your needs, goals and life experiences with evidenced based standards for the best possible outcomes.


Diabetes Education is about providing an individual with the tools and knowledge they need for self care and management. It is about helping people implement and sustain the behaviors needed to manage their condition long term, and I am here to help with that."


A RDN CDE can be an invaluable member of your health care team.


For more information on diabetes education and CDEs, you can visit the following websites: