When you’re diagnosed with diabetes it can be overwhelming. Your doctor will provide you with a lot of information and ask you a number of questions, about your eating patterns, weight history, blood pressure, medications you might be taking, any family history of heart disease and any treatments you have received for other health problems. If appropriate, the doctor will ask whether you smoke or drink. If you’re a mother you may also be asked about your child or children’s health.
Don't be too alarmed by these questions, your doctor isn’t prying. All of this information has a bearing on your diabetes and how to best manage it.
What you can do
Until a cure is found, if you have diabetes you have it for life. The good news is that by keeping your blood glucose levels with range you can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious health problems associated with diabetes.
Ensuring your diabetes is well managed is key and there’s no one better qualified to do it than you. Taking charge of diabetes doesn’t have to be a full time job, but you do have to be mindful of it 24/7, whether you’re eating, working or going to bed. You’ll have a health care team of people to help you, including your doctor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator, dietician, podiatrist and eye specialist. This is your diabetes healthcare team. The team approach helps you to learn all you need to know about diabetes, treatment and management.
Your doctor will also want do a thorough physical examination, including a careful look at your mouth, feet, eyes, abdomen, skin and thyroid gland (a gland at the base of your neck that releases hormones that helps your body use energy) and possibly a cardiac (heart) work-up. You’ll have a range of tests, including blood-lipid test for cholesterol.
The initial assessment is important for your overall care. Your doctor will probably also introduce to you the other members of your diabetes healthcare team who will be a valuable and reliable resource for support, advice and follow-up assessments.
Register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you are eligible to register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). It is free to register and provides subsidised products, education and support to people with diabetes.
You can also call the free diabetes Infoline on 1300 136 588 and talk to a health professional about your diabetes.
Become a member of Diabetes Australia
You can become a member of Diabetes Australia. When you join Diabetes Australia, you become a member of your state or territory’s Diabetes Australia organisation. Diabetes Australia state and territory organisations have more than 180,000 members throughout Australia.
Membership provides access to many valuable services and benefits available only to people who pay an annual subscription fee to be a member of the Diabetes Australia organisation in their state or territory.
Contact your state or territory Diabetes Australia office to become a member of Diabetes Australia.
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