Diabetes mellitus is a common disease that endocrinologists manage. It is a condition where a person has elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels as a result of the body either not producing enough insulin, or because the cells in the body do not respond properly to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and it aids the uptake of glucose from blood vessels into cells and organs such as muscles and fat. In managing patients with diabetes, the endocrinologist aims to keep their blood glucose level within acceptable range and to prevent development of long-term complications associated with diabetes. The endocrinologist will need to work closely with the diabetes educator and dietitian in helping patients maintain good control of their diabetes.
The Diabetes Educator is a health care professional with specialised knowledge and skills in diabetes education and management whose role is to enable people affected by Diabetes to effectively manage their condition.
Diabetes educators teach people how to adjust their lifestyle and behaviour so that they can manage their diabetes, keep their blood sugar under control and avoid the complications of the disease.
Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition. They promote good health through proper eating. In diabetes, good eating habits can help prevent and reduce complications. Dietitians can assess what you eat and teach you about nutrition. They can help you plan improvements to your diet, based on your lifestyle and what you like to eat. This is called ‘Medical Nutrition Therapy’.
A number of Dietitians work at Liverpool Diabetes Centre, however they only see people referred by Endocrine Doctors. If you want to see a Dietitian, but are not seeing an Endocrine Doctor, you can ask your GP to refer you to a Private Practice Dietitian. To find out more, call the Dietitians Association of Australia on 1800 812 942 or visit www.daa.asn.au ("Find an APD")
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