01 Jul Your GP and Diabetes Care
Diabetes – Managing this chronic illness
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic health condition in Australia with one person developing this disease on a daily basis. Proper care and self-management are important to keeping this disease in check.
To manage this chronic illness, you will need a variety of healthcare services to ensure the appropriate care for your condition. Your primary care Doctor will oversee, guide, and refer you to further healthcare specialists, allied health and support networks, as necessary. The most important part of your management team though is you and understanding diabetes, the treatment and your care is imperative. This advice can primarily be provided by your Doctor.
If you have diabetes, you are likely to routinely see your Doctor, so it will be important to have a positive and trusting relationship with them for this journey ahead. A GP is well trained to care for Diabetic patients, and many have a special interest in treating patients with this chronic condition.
There are various types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes and depending on the type you have, your health needs will differ.
A brief look at each type of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, (insulin-dependent diabetes) “is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.” Type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence; however, it can develop in adults.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes “occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (reduced insulin production) and/or the insulin does not work effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance).”
Gestational diabetes is initially diagnosed during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
Note: When you are trying to get pregnant is a good time to see your Doctor for an overall health check as well as a check for the risk of gestational diabetes. (Link to Top Health Doctors antenatal care)
Your Doctor wants what best for you
Your Doctor wants the best for you and will consequently seek to know and understand your full health details. They will also want to touch base and know how you are personally coping. Importantly as a treatment plan has been arranged, they will want to know how well your diabetes (blood sugar level) is being controlled.
There are many parts of your body that can be impacted by diabetes so it is critical your Doctor knows if you have any other symptoms such as changes to your vision as this disease can result in conditions is other part of your body you may not expect. Also let your doctor know about any changes in your diet and exercise.
Given the impact this illness may have on you broadly, it is clear that having a health provider with knowledge and an overarching view of your full health condition, will be a valuable relationship for you.
Be sure you have a Doctor who cares and your connected with, so you can feel well cared for through this time. Please follow your Doctors directions, keep up your routine appointments and let them know if anything changes.
Here is a useful tool for you to check your risks of Diabetes – Risk Calculator