How A Dietitian Can Help With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Melitius is one of the biggest health problems facing Australians. In fact, 1.7 million Australians are diagnosed with T2DM and just as many are living with the disease undiagnosed. There are many complications in having T2DM including nerve damage, potential blindness and amputations, as well as the psychological effects of living with a chronic condition.

Right now the standard treatment involves regular GP checkups, a visit to a Diabetes clinic and sessions with a Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist as well as a yearly check with a Podiatrist. Those with T2DM are eligible for 5 rebated visits with allied health providers each year through Medicare. Therefore, Dietitians can be easily accessed with a referral and play a vital role in the management of T2DM.

Dietitians are the expert on food and nutrition and understand the connections between our health and the food we eat. As Diabetes cause high blood glucose levels due to poor function of insulin, there is a lot we can do diet wise to manage this. Some things a Dietitian may do:

Look at dietary intake and health history in light of T2DM diagnosis

• Explain how diabetes works and how the body is processing carbohydrates

• Debunk common myths around Diabetes and eating, eg ‘I need to eliminate all carbs and sugar’

• Encourage a moderate amount of carbohydrate foods depending on individual need

• Give suggestions for meals and snacks that suit individual preferences and lifestyle

• Teach label reading, carb counting, building a balanced meal and other strategies that can help long term health

• Review regularly to ensure understanding of concepts and review diet history

• Empower individual to make sustainable choices that support their health and monitor intake and blood sugar levels using a food diary

Type 2 Diabetes is a difficult condition to live with, but it is one of the easiest conditions to treat through deliberate lifestyle changes. If you’d like us to help you to manage your diet, give us a call on (02) 4023 2797. Visit our dietitian page for more info on what we do and how we can help!

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