Diabetes is a very complex disease, affecting many parts of the body. It can be a challenge to correctly manage diabetes without significant help from a number of different health care professionals.
Health care professionals who can help:
General practitioner: Where possible, try to have one GP (or one GP practice) provide overall management of your diabetes. If you use multiple GPs, it will be more difficult to coordinate referrals, record results of tests and treatments and track your progress
Endocrinologist (hormone specialist) or diabetes specialist: Especially if your diabetes is proving difficult to control
Paediatrician: If the person with diabetes is young
Dietitian: Diet plays a critical role in diabetes management
Optometrist and ophthalmologist: Regular eye tests are critical to preventing vision loss. In some cases, treatment may be required.
Diabetes educator: Find your nearest certified diabetes educator or call (02) 6287 4822
Practice nurse: A nurse working in GP practice can help coordinate other people to assist you
Podiatrist: to help manage issues with your feet
Psychologist: If you are experiencing mental health issues dealing with diabetes generally, and vision loss in particular, you should talk to your GP in the first instance
Smoking cessation: Talk to your GP first. Other organisations can also help.
Other professionals, such as an obstetrician for pregnant women, are of assistance for people in specific situations
You should also contact the relevant state branch of Diabetes Australia. Telephone: 1300 136 588.
Contact Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 for additional resources on diabetic eye disease and for regular newsletters on eye health.
Advantages of a team approach
A team approach to the management of diabetes provides many benefits:
- Improved coordination of services
- Improved treatment planning and referrals
- Utilising the specialised skills of different people
- Improved outcomes for people with diabetes and their families and carers
- Better detection and management of the psychosocial and emotional needs of people with diabetes and their family or carers
- Improved information sharing between the diabetes team members.