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Just been diagnosed?

A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming.

Your doctor may provide you with a lot of information and ask you a range of questions about what you eat and when, your physical activity habits, weight history, blood pressure, any medications you may be taking, family history including about diabetes and heart disease and any treatments you have received for other health issues.

If you’re a mother you may also be asked about your child or children’s health.

Don’t be alarmed by these questions. This information will help your doctor provide you with advice to best manage your diabetes.

What you can do

Diabetes is a progressive condition, however looking after your health, eating well, getting regular physical activity and keeping blood glucose levels within target ranges can slow that progression and reduce your risk of developing some the serious complications associated with diabetes.

You will be in charge of your diabetes management. It doesn’t have to be a fulltime job, but you do have to be mindful of it day in, day out. The important thing is, you’re not alone. Many people find their families and friends are an important source of support and inspiration.

You should also get familiar with your diabetes healthcare team. This refers to the range of health professionals who will help you manage different aspects of the condition. Because diabetes impacts on every part of your body your diabetes healthcare team will include your GP, Credentialled Diabetes Educator, dietician, podiatrist and eye specialist. The team approach helps you to learn all you need to know about diabetes, treatment and management.

Physical examination

Your GP may want to conduct 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 heart examination. This could involve a range of tests, including a 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.