Diabetes is chronic condition that requires support, education and understanding. Often the diagnosis can be overwhelming and living with it every day requires the support of a health care team.
Your health care team is made up of health professionals that you choose to support you through your journey, as well as friends and family that are able to help you make decisions about your well being. Most importantly however, you are the most significant member of this team.
The following health care professionals are some (but not necessarily all) of the members who are able to help support you no matter what type of diabetes you have or how long you have been diagnosed.
GP– your doctor is central to your health care team and the starting point for which you can access referrals for other members of your team.
Endocrinologist– This is the specialist who can provide information about your disease state and is an important part of the team . As with all members of your health team, there are different styles of practising. Some endocrinologists like to see your day to day glucose levels (and spend time discussing these with you) while other endocrinologists will spent more time in your appointment discussing such things as cholesterol and blood pressure, if this is applicable. As is always the case, it is important you are comfortable with a style that suits you!
Credentialled Diabetes Educator– This is someone who can educate you about all aspects of your diabetes, both upon diagnosis and throughout your journey. Research is changing the way we manage diabetes so it is important to see your educator on a regular basis. Here at the Green Dispensary we have two Credentialled Diabetes Educators (Kirrily and Julie) who can help with all facets of your diabetes.
Dietitian– The good news is there is now no such thing as a diabetes diet! However a dietitian can help modify recipes, discuss a healthy eating plan and dispel myths about food that often occur with diabetes.
Podiatrist– This member of the team is helpful when you are diagnosed to get a base line of circulation and nerve health. They are also important throughout your journey to ensure the health of your feet and lower limbs are maintained.
Optometrist-Important to keep a track of the health of your eyes and to regularly upgrade your glasses or contact lenses if necessary.
Ophthalmologist-An eye specialist that can monitor changes in your retina (often not able to be detected from day to day) and organise treatment if required.
Exercise Physiologist –Specialise in the delivery of physical activity for the prevention and management of your diabetes. Sometimes it is about doing something in a different way.
Pharmacist- helps you understand and organise all your medicines, even those purchased over the counter.