Understanding Diabetes

What is diabetes? Is it a serious condition? What can I do to stay healthy?

It is important to understand how diabetes can affect your body, whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for some time.

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Understanding Diabetes


Understanding food choices can be confusing.

The good news is that there is no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’! A healthy diet for people with diabetes is the same as what’s healthy for the rest of the population.

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The positive effects from moving our bodies are endless!

Whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the lift, playing with the kids or walking the dog, making small changes to our daily routine can make a significant difference to how we feel.

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Staying Well

When you have diabetes it’s important to stay well.

By understanding how to manage your diabetes and having regular check-ups with your diabetes health care team, you can help prevent diabetes-related complications.

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Staying Well

Your health care team

You are the leader of your diabetes health care team.

Diabetes self-management does not mean doing it alone. Your diabetes health care team is there to support you.

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Click on each icon to find out more about the provider

You GP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker Diabetes educator Dentist Dietitian Endocrinologist Optometrist Ophthalmologist Pharmacist Physiotherapist Podiatrist Psychiatrist Psychologist


You are the leader of the team and the most important member. You are not alone.

General Practitioner (GP), General Practice Nurse (PN)

Your GP has a central role in overall assessment and diabetes management. Your GP may refer you to their PN to assist with your care planning or other diabetes management strategies. Visit your GP regularly to discuss any problems as soon as they arise.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers can support individuals and families in managing diabetes and connect you with other health professionals.

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Diabetes educator

A diabetes educator will provide you with information to manage your diabetes. They can also help you develop action plans for the unexpected (e.g. low or high BGLs).

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A dentist assists with oral health and provides treatment.

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Your dietitian can provide you with individualised information about healthy eating.

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An endocrinologist is a medical specialist who sees people with diabetes, especially those with type 1 diabetes, or those who are pregnant and have diabetes.

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Your optometrist assesses eye health and prescribes your glasses.

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An ophthalmologist is an eye specialist who can monitor any changes in your eyes and provide treatment.

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A pharmacist prepares and dispenses drugs and medicine. They can also give advice about your medicines.

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Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist

A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can give advice about exercise choices.

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A podiatrist will advise you on how to keep your feet healthy and treat foot problems.

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A psychiatrist is a medical specialist who can help people who have emotional and psychological problems.

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A psychologist counsels people with emotional and psychological problems and can help you make lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking.

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Annual Cycle of Care

Annual Cycle of Care

The Annual Cycle of Care is a checklist designed to assist you and your health team keep your diabetes care on track.

You, your health care team and your Annual Cycle of Care can help you reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications.


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