Live Well with Diabetes
Diabetes is a complex disease that can affect your whole body. However, there are many things you can do to manage it and you don’t have to do it alone..
Visit us instore and ask our Healthcare Heroes for a consultation, to discuss your medications, blood glucose monitoring and lifestyle advice to help you be at your best!
We have also put together a brochure covering blood glucose monitoring, how to look after your feet, the importance of oral care and tips for weight management that you can download here. For more information on different aspect of diabetes care see below.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
One of the keys to treating diabetes is maintain blood glucose levels within a target range. Your levels can vary depending on the food you eat, activity, lifestyle, and medicines. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin. Find out how to measure your blood glucose levels, when and how often to measure them, and the target levels.
Diabetes-Related Health Issues
High blood glucose levels over a long period of time can seriously damage your blood vessels. This means that blood can’t travel to the parts of your body it needs to and may also mean your nerves won’t work properly either. Once you’ve damaged the blood vessels and nerves in one part of your body, you’re more likely to develop similar problems in other parts of your body.
HbA1c is glycated haemoglobin. This is made when glucose, sticks to your blood cells and builds up in your blood. It's measured by a blood test that shows your average blood glucose levels over the last three months. A high HbA1c means you have too much glucose in your blood. We know that the higher your HbA1c level, the more you’re at risk of developing complications.
However, the good news is you can prevent or delay complications. Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fats under control will have a big impact on reducing your risk of developing complications. Regular blood glucose monitoring, eating healthy, keeping active, and smoking cessation are some ways to manage your diabetes. Act now to live better with diabetes.
Foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Foot problems are a common complication of this condition. Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly when you have a problem. It is important to do regular foot checks. Find out how.
People with diabetes are at risk of developing damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina), otherwise known as retinopathy. As diabetes related retinopathy can cause vision loss it is important that it is identified and treated early. Blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol can all contribute to increasing your risk of developing eye complications. Keeping your glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended ranges is extremely important to reduce your risk. Make sure you get regular eye checks as most vision loss from diabetes is preventable with early detection and treatment. Do not wait until you have symptoms!
Diabetes and Diet
Weight gain and sedentary lifestyles has become an increasing problem. Both of these can increase your risk of diabetes and contribute to your condition worsening. When trying to lose weight, it is crucial to look at food intake. The plates, bowls, cups, etc, in the home play a role in how much we eat. There is help – you can get portion plates which can assist in creating a nurturing and supportive environment at home. Find out more.
Making healthier food choices is important to manage your diabetes. Follow a healthy eating plan based on:
- Plenty of vegetables (and the non-starchy ones)
- High-fibre, low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates
- Include lean protein sources
- Limit foods that are high in saturated fat and choose healthier fats.
- Choose foods low in salt
Meal Replacement Shakes
To assist with weight loss your doctor or health care team may suggest meal replacement products to support you. A meal replacement product is not designed as a substitute for your entire diet, only some meals as discussed with your health care team. They are often filled with nutrients but have fewer calories than you would eat during a meal.
How does it work? Very Low-Calorie Diet’s (VLCD) provide an amount of energy which is significantly less than the amount the body requires each day. This forces the body to start using its own fat stores as the main source of energy resulting in weight loss. VLCDs, through meal replacement shakes, are formulated to be a nutritionally complete (contain the required levels of micronutrients and macronutrients) to ensure that all daily nutritional requirements are met. This is to aid in safe and rapid weight loss.
Diabetes and Exercise
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and help manage your diabetes. Physical activity plays a vital role in helping the body use glucose as fuel for muscles, which in turn lowers blood glucose levels. When the body starts to exercise, the muscles need energy to move. This energy comes from glucose in the blood as well as glucose stored in the muscles and, occasionally, from stores in the liver. There are numerous benefits of regular physical activity, some include improving mood and sleep, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and increasing strength, power and balance. So start moving today! Remember to get clearance from your doctor and monitor your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise especially if it is a new type or duration of exercise. See below links for some ideas to motivate you and keep you safe while exercising with diabetes.
Diabetes Support Services
Heads up on Diabetes – DA - https://headsupdiabetes.com.au/
Foot Forward – DA - https://www.footforward.org.au/
Keep Sight – DA - https://www.keepsight.org.au/
Diabetes Australia - https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/
NDSS - https://ndss.com.au/
Diabetes educator – find at https://www.adea.com.au/