Who to talk to after being diagnosed with type 2Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Everyday 289 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Australia. But after diagnosis, who do you talk to about the next steps in managing your diabetes?
Everyone in Australia living with diabetes is entitled to five visits every 12 months with Allied Health practitioners. Allied Health practitioners include:
- Credentialled Diabetes Educators
- Exercise Physiologists and
Moving forward with managing your diabetes, these people will make up your team and help you towards a healthy future. Your diabetes healthcare team will also include your GP and, in some cases, an Endocrinologist.
Your General Practitioner (GP) is your first port of call for your diabetes care. Working with you, they will put together your diabetes Care Plan. You Care Plan will include your diet and exercise plan, medication information, appointments with other health professionals and your individual health goals. Regular care plan appointments also give you a chance to discuss your goals, experiences, worries and results of diabetes checks.
After your care plan is put together (possibly by a Practice Nurse), your GP will give you referrals to Allied Health professionals in your area. Your Care Plan will partially or fully pay for these appointments.
Credentialled Diabetes Educators
Credentialled Diabetes Educators will talk you about your blood glucose levels and help you set targets and goals. They will, in most cases, provide you with a glucose monitor that’s right for you and teach you how to use it. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator will teach you about your medications and how to inject your medication, if and when necessary. They will make sure all of your diabetes care is up to date and screen for diabetes related complications. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator will support you and provide if you start struggling with your self-care. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educators is usually a Nurse, but they might be a Dietitian, Pharmacist, Exercise Physiologist or Podiatrist.
Dietitians will help you with your diet. Your food choices and portion sizes help you decide how much carbohydrate to have with each meal to maintain good blood glucose levels (BGL) and a healthy weight. Not sure what carbs are? They’ll teach you that too! If you want to try a new diet be sure to ask your Dietitian first. Diabetes can’t be managed without talking about food.
Exercise Physiologists are here to guide you about staying active. Don’t worry, they don’t expect people to start pumping iron and running marathons immediately. Instead they’ll put together a plan for you to exercise to your individual capability. They will take into account your age, general health, level of fitness, any limitations you might have and your medical history. Exercise and movement will help you manage your diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Did you know that one bout of exercise can have good effect on your blood glucose levels for up to 48hours?
Podiatrists will help you look after your feet. They will check to make sure your skin is healthy, that your circulation is good and keep an eye out for any changes over time that might happen. They will also cut your toe nails if you can’t reach your feet or if your eye sight isn’t very good.
People living with type 2 diabetes can also go to eight group visits with a Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian. These referrals can be arranged through your GP.
If you have questions for a Credentialled Diabetes Educators,Exercise Physiologists or Dietitian you can ring the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you aren’t alone with your diabetes management!