How do you know if what you’re doing is working for your type 2?

How will you know if the changes you’ve made and the treatment you’re undertaking are helping you on the inside?

Is it enough to avoid complications?

You know that diabetes can affect different parts of your body such as the heart, eyes, feet and kidneys. The changes within the body can be subtle and you may easily overlook them. You may have changed your lifestyle or your diabetes medication to prevent diabetes-related complications. These changes may make you feel better, but how do you know if this is enough?

Health checks by your diabetes care team can provide you with valuable, measurable information. As an adult, the Annual Cycle of Care Checklist is a useful tool. It has recommended timeframes between reviews and target ranges. Ongoing research supports these recommendations and at present it is considered best practice in diabetes care. Keep in mind, however, that this checklist is a guide. The timeframes between reviews and the targets recommended must be personalised to suit you.

Annual Cycle of Care and goal setting

Some people use this checklist to develop goals with their health care team. A goal could be to maintain or improve positive health outcomes. Another example could be to restart the physical activity that helps you maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

At the annual review a discussion with your team could be about how to achieve your goal. Identify what are the barriers to succeeding and also what support could help you. Setting a specific, realistic and measurable goal is a great way to start making changes.

Early recognition of concerns

Often people are surprised with how often certain health checks are recommended. This ensures health concerns are identified early. Early detection then provides you with an opportunity to discuss with your health care team the best way to manage and treat the problem.

Eye checks, for instance, are recommended at least every two years or more. It’s known that 25% – 50% of people with diabetes do not have their eyes examined as recommended. Yet, up to 80% of severe eye problems could be prevented by early detection and treatment.

Share your information

Sharing the information you obtain from carrying out the Annual Cycle of Care checks between your health care team may also be beneficial. Sharing results may alleviate any concerns your support team have for your wellbeing. It’s an opportunity for you to show your gratitude for their involvement in your journey with diabetes.

It’s also a chance to celebrate what you’ve achieved.

By Amanda Callaghan RN CDE


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