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Managing diabetes

Managing diabetes

Diabetes in emergencies

It is crucial that people with diabetes pay close attention to their health during emergency situations. Diabetes Queensland has a nine-step checklist to help you manage your health during stressful times.

 

1. Monitor your health

For people with diabetes, physical and emotional stress can take a toll on health and well-being. Blood glucose levels may go up or down when a person is under stress. It is important you take notice of how you are feeling, take regular rest breaks, increase your monitoring and contact your GP or health professional if you have concerns.

 

2. Eat well

Access to fresh fruit and vegetables may be difficult when road transport is disrupted, but that doesn't mean you cut them out. Look for specials and cheaper varieties. As an alternative eat frozen, dried or canned fruit or vegetables.

 

3. Eat safe

Make sure you know where your food is coming from. If you loser power, you may have to throw away food that wasn't properly refrigerated to avoid any food-borne illnesses.

 

4. Drink safe

Make sure your water source is safe. If possible, stock up on bottled water. If you're concerned, call your local council.

 

5. Clean safe

When cleaning up after a natural disaster make sure you're dressed the part ; a long-sleeve shirt, gumboots and thick gloves.

 

6. Look after your feet

Feet hygiene is extremely important for people with diabetes. Make sure you wear protective foot wear at all times - a simple cut can quickly develop into something more serious like an ulcer. Try to keep your feet dry, wash them properly after any work and inspect them frequently. Contact your doctor if you have concerns.

 

7. Bugs and repellent

Natural disasters often mean mosquitoes and other insects are more prevalent. Cover up with repellent, wear protective clothing and check for bites and scratches that may not be healing. Contact your GP if you have concerns.

 

8. Check diabetes supplies

Power loss may affect the action of insulin. Keep insulin in a cooler bag if the power is out. Youmay need to obtain new insulin if it is damaged. Put blood glucose monitor and test strips in a zip lock bag to protect them. If they have been damaged or exposed to moisture or heat, you may need to replace them.

 

9. Who to call

In a medical emergency situation, contact 000. If you need urgent access to medication or supplies, or have any medical concerns, call Queensland Health on 1343 2584 (13 HEALTH).

 

For information or support, call Diabetes Queensland on 1300 136 588. If you NDSS sub-agent is affected by a natural-disaster, call 1300 136 588to register for NDSS consumables by mail order.