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5 tips to live well with diabetes

1. Have a team of health professionals

Living with diabetes requires treatment from a range of different health professionals. Each health professional plays an important role and will provide you with specific advice that is tailored to you, your lifestyle and how best to manage your diabetes. A suggestion is to see a credentialed diabetes educator, dietitian, podiatrist and optometrist when you are first diagnosed. An exercise physiologist could also be considered if you would like extra assistance to increase your physical activity.

  

2. Build a healthcare team you can trust

You know your health is important and most of us want to feel comfortable with the professionals who are caring for you. If, for whatever reason, you do not feel comfortable or trust the care or information you are receiving, seek a second opinion. You may need to visit a number of health professionals until you find one you can form a positive relationship with. This is a very important step in your diabetes care.

 

3. Talk about your condition

When first diagnosed with diabetes, health professionals tend to focus on the physical implications, (such as making lifestyle changes or taking medications), and your mental health can sometimes be overlooked. Talking to a loved one or friend, or a psychologist or councillor, can be of benefit. Research shows that having diabetes more than doubles the risk of developing depression, so you are not alone. Mental and physical health are linked so your mental health will influence your diabetes. It is important to be mindful of both your mental and physical health needs when you are diagnosed with diabetes.

 

4. Ask questions

The only "silly" question is the one not asked. If you find you do not understand something or would like to know more about a particular topic, please ask your healthcare team. Your healthcare team are there to support you and their goal is to help you feel empowered to self-manage your diabetes.

 

5. Take action now

A diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world. Making healthy lifestyle changes as a first step will not only have a positive impact on your diabetes but will also improve your overall health and wellbeing. With the right mindset, support and a little hard work, a person living with diabetes can have a long, happy and fulfilling life. And if, for whatever reason, you've delayed being proactive about your diabetes, today is a great day to start a healthier future. 

 

For more information regarding diabetes, including what to do after diagnosis, please call the Diabetes Queensland Helpline on 1800 177 055.

 

Reference:  www.ndss.com.au/depression

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