Our Diabetes Educator, Kirstie Pieters, is currently on maternity leave.
Although our replacement dietitian, Maddie Hardgrave, can assist with diabetes management and advice, she is not officially accredited as a diabetes educator.
WHAT IS DIABETES EDUCATION?
Diabetes education is the cornerstone of diabetes management. Unlike other diseases, diabetes cannot be treated with medication alone. There are a many other components to managing the symptoms of diabetes, which require specialist knowledge.
The components of diabetes management include:
the diabetes disease process
Diabetes education makes you more aware of diabetes and what it takes to treat it, whilst also giving you the power to control it. Diabetes education allows you to better incorporate knowledge into your life and make the necessary changes to improve your lifestyle.
If you, or someone close to you, has been diagnosed with diabetes there is a lot you can do to manage the disease and improve your overall health. A Credentialed Diabetes Educator is able to provide specialised advice and care to diabetes patients.
BENEFITS OF A CREDENTIALED DIABETES EDUCATOR (CDE)
Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDE) are specialists in diabetes. They are health professionals who have completed further study to focus their efforts on helping people with diabetes to self-manage their diabetes effectively and prevent complications.
A CDE can be the first point of call when you are wanting more information, support and/or motivation in the management of your diabetes. They are also the link between yourself and other health professionals. They have in-depth knowledge on all aspects of diabetes and can recognise when you need to see other members of your health care team, for example, an optometrist or podiatrist.
Type 1 Diabetes
For people with type 1 diabetes, CDE's can help you:
manage your medication
create appropriate meal plans
monitor eye care
look after your feet
Type 2 Diabetes
For people with type 2 diabetes, CDE's can help you:
Prolong or avoid the need for medication. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, we can delay medication by assisting you with healthy eating, exercise and weight loss.
Make the transition to medication when the insulin producing cells in your pancreas stop producing insulin. Unfortunately many people with Type 2 diabetes will need medication at some point in time. Diabetes educators can be there to help you make the safe and timely transition to medication.
The frequency of your visits to a diabetes educator will depend on your diabetes and your blood glucose levels.
Who Should See A Diabetes Educator?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes should make regular appointments with a CDE. However, anyone can benefit from speaking to a diabetes educator, including people with pre-diabetes or known diabetes risk factors. CDE's can provide you with initial information about what can happen in the future and what symptoms to look out for.
CDE's can also help people with less common forms of diabetes like Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA), Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy and Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY).
When Should I See A Diabetes Educator?
Credentialled Diabetes Educators can be there with you the entire way through your journey. When you are first diagnosed, a CDE can explain what diabetes is and provide individualised advice on how to get your blood glucose levels within the appropriate target range. They will also help you organise tests and screenings for diabetes complications. This will vary depending on your diabetes, your lifestyle and your age.
A CDE can also help you when your blood glucose levels fluctuate. According to Diabetes Australia, they are often affected when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Lifestyle changes and events like exams, weddings, divorce or somebody close to you dying, can impact blood glucose levels. The main aim of a CDE is to empower the person that has diabetes to self-manage their diabetes through knowledge, motivation and support.
RECOGNITION OF THE VALUE OF DIABETES EDUCATION
Approximately 1.2 million of Australians (4.9%) have been diagnosed with diabetes. This chronic condition that is recognised as one of the key health issues of the 21st century. The Australian Government provides support to those affected by this disease, including supplementing the cost of allied health services like diabetes education, dietetics and exercise physiology.
IF you have been diagnosed with diabetes you may be eligible for our services in the following ways:
Medicare - if you have diabetes you may be eligible for a referral under Medicare's Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM). Speak to your GP.
Your Home Care Package (HCP) under the Australian Government's My Aged Care intiative.
NDIS for people living with a disability.
Referral from DVA for servicemen and women, veterans and war widows.
Many major health funds provide rebates. Please check with your health fund for more details.
You are also welcome to make an appointment without a referral. Contact us on 07 5456 1599 to arrange a suitable time or use our online booking system.