CONDITIONS WE MANAGE

Diabetes

What is diabetes?
According to Diabetes Australia, approximately 1.8 million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes, making it the fastest growing chronic condition in this country. Diabetes is caused by too much sugar (known as glucose) in the blood.

Diabetes management involves equal distribution of carbohydrates throughout the day, regular physical activity and medication (if required). Insulin injections may or may not be used in your diabetes management. It is important to note that blood sugar monitoring may need to be checked more frequently at certain times (e.g. when sick or stressed). Maintaining an ideal weight will also help to control your blood sugar levels as insulin is able to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar levels.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes involves the body destroying the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Therefore, no insulin is made resulting in the need to inject insulin daily. In comparison, Type 2 diabetes involves the body not responding efficiently to insulin. Even though some insulin may still be made, blood glucose levels increase. This is why medication and/or insulin injections may be needed.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Usually, this form of diabetes resolves after delivery of the baby however, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future increases. 

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications such as a heart attack, stroke and damage to the nerves, kidneys, eyes and feet.

Symptoms of diabetes
- Increased thirst
- Presence of ketones in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Irritability
- Frequent infections
- Slow-healing sores

HOW CAN I HELP?

My first step will be to conduct a dietary assessment to assess your carbohydrate distribution. Following this, I will help you with meal planning. Particular focus will be given to carbohydrate timing, amount and type (i.e. low glycaemic food options). I will also be providing you with suitable diabetic snacks, based on your individual preferences.

In addition, I will support you to meet home blood glucose testing targets. It is vital that I also provide you with guidance on the treatment of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia), especially if your diabetes is managed with insulin. Understanding the factors that help reduce blood sugar levels will ensure that your blood sugar is kept within an optimal range. Focus will also be given to label reading and maintaining a healthy weight which will help to increase your body’s insulin sensitivity.

FURTHER READING
- Diabetes Australia
Want to know more about how a Dietitian can help your diabetes?

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