The lifelong demands of diabetes care can feel complex - watching your diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood glucose levels can feel complicating.
Being diagnosed with diabetes may feel like your life has been turned upside down but with the right support and understanding, it can be successfully managed. We are here to provide you with the support and information you need.
There are three main types of Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is recognized as an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
This results in the pancreas not being capable of producing enough insulin which is the hormone that pushes glucose from the bloodstream into cells in the body so it can be used for energy. Without insulin to push your glucose into your cells, sugar starts building up in your bloodstream, causing serious health complications.
Type 1 diabetes is managed with the help of insulin therapy, exercise and proper nutrition.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2, the most common form of diabetes occurs when your body fails to use insulin properly. Again, if glucose is not being sent into the cells, your body will be starved of energy and there will be glucose build up in your blood. This is called insulin resistance.
Initially, your pancreas will respond by producing more insulin to help keep your blood glucose levels normal. But over time, your pancreas can't keep up with the demand, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Excess sugar in the blood may impair your vision, and damage your kidneys, nerves, and heart. It may also impede your body's ability to heal wounds.
Type 2 diabetes is managed by blood glucose being controlled with proper nutrition, exercise, insulin therapy (when the body isn’t producing enough insulin) and other medications.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops at any stage of pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. During pregnancy, your placenta releases hormones which help your baby grow, however they also block the action of insulin. This can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Gestational Diabetes occurs when your pancreas can't make enough insulin to handle the excess sugar levels in your blood.
You are at risk of this condition if you:
• are 40 years or older
• are above the healthy weight range (body mass index is above 30)
• have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background
• have had elevated blood glucose levels in the past
• have had previous pregnancies with gestational diabetes
• have a family history of diabetes
• have polycystic ovary syndrome
• gain weight too quickly in the first half of pregnancy
If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may grow larger than usual. This may lead to a caesarian delivery or cause premature birth, pre-eclampsia and other complications.
Gestational diabetes can be managed by reducing blood sugar levels through changes in diet and exercise. If diet and exercise are not enough to bring the blood sugar levels down, then medications and insulin injections may be necessary to avoid potential problems.
How Can a GP Help Manage My Diabetes?
No matter what type of diabetes you have, the outcome is the same - excess glucose in your blood. If left untreated and controlled, diabetes may cause many serious health problems and complications.
Your GP will help you with a diabetes treatment plan that will fit your needs. They can also provide you with advice on diet, physical activity and medication.
Your GP may also need to refer you to other health care professionals including a podiatrist, dietitian, optometrist, and an endocrinologist (a diabetes specialist). These may form your health care team to help you manage your diabetes.
Diabetes and Medicare
The Chronic Disease Management allows your GP to plan and coordinate your health care plans which include:
GP Management Plan
This is a plan that outlines the types of health care that you will require, the services that your GP will provide you, and your personal participation in the management of your diabetes.
Team Care Arrangements Plan
If your condition requires treatment from other health professionals, your GP may facilitate a Team Care Arrangements Plan for you. Your Health Care Team will collaborate with each other to provide you with the appropriate treatment or services that you need.
As a diabetes patient, you are eligible for Medicare Rebates.
Please refer to the following links for more details:
Importance of Correct Diabetes Management
Diabetes is a complicated illness that requires continuing medical care and patient participation to reduce the risk of complications. Long-term complications of this chronic condition may develop gradually. Left untreated and not managed properly, the complications of diabetes may be life-threatening.
Possible complications include:
• Cardiovascular Diseases
• Kidney Damage
• Eye Damage
• Nerve Damage
• Foot Damage
• Skin Conditions
If you work closely with your healthcare team, you will learn how to monitor your blood glucose levels, how different foods affect your blood glucose, and how to balance food, insulin doses, medicine, and physical activity.
At Peregian Family Medical Centre we can give you all the information, assistance, tips, and motivation to help you manage your diabetes effectively.
To make an appointment, book here or give us a call on 07 5471 2100