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Peter's journey

With the support of his wife Gabi and Diabetes SA, Peter is well on his way to managing his diabetes effectively.

My name is Peter and I've recently retired from working as a bus driver for many years. My level of physical activity was very low. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in March 2015.

I'd received warnings from my doctor for a few years that my glucose levels were on the rise.

He advised me to "lose weight, get more active and change my diet". Unfortunately, I didn't heed his warnings but fortunately, I don't need medication to manage it.

My journey with diabetes at present involves learning as much as I can and more importantly applying what I have learnt. My wife Gabi has helped me along the way and attended information sessions when I was unable to attend. She obtained the information and passed it on to me. We're in this together — if we're both focused on our health we're going to get better results with fewer complications.

Diabetes SA was known to me before my diagnosis and when my Care Plan was prepared, the nurse informed me of the support and assistance they could provide. From my first contact with staff in the shop to attending education sessions everyone has been friendly, helpful and encouraging. This has made our experience with the organisation extremely positive as we were treated as friends and not customers.

We have attended many education sessions including ShopSmart, Market Tour, CarbSmart and the full-day program DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed).

At the end of each session we came away with new knowledge and practical tips for managing diabetes.

The market tour had the extra bonus of walking around the Central Market and increasing our activity level for the morning. The sights and smells were enticing.

The DESMOND program was inspiring and involved a partner/support person also attending. This was very beneficial. The group size was small and the facilitators helped us explore our common and individual issues. The learning materials we received allowed us to set personal goals to work on after the session. We continue to make better choices around food and activity as a result of attending the DESMOND program and in fact all the education sessions.

It would be helpful if everyone knew how beneficial these programs are.

You may have some knowledge on a topic however you will learn more about diabetes and how to manage it.

It's useful to come prepared for the sessions so you can have your questions answered.

The programs are delivered by health professionals who focus on the needs of the group while covering the material in an easy to understand manner. I always felt they respected me and others as individuals.

If I was speaking with someone newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I'd happily share my experiences however would never give advice as every person's situation is unique. I'd recommend they contact Diabetes SA and seek the professional advice they need. I'd suggest it's useful to "know your numbers" in relation to blood glucose levels and HbA1c and to seek quality information rather than from family and friends or the internet.

It would be wonderful if more people understood that diabetes is a manageable condition.

We all need to show people with diabetes respect – they didn't choose to have diabetes.

We've both learnt a lot about diabetes over the past few years. We didn't know much about it or anyone who had diabetes. We now have more knowledge and understanding so we can make better choices each day.

Since attending the education sessions we've increased our level of activity both structured and incidental, we now park further away in the carpark when shopping, we've replaced certain foods with lower GI options and used recipes from the Living magazine.

My glucose levels are at an acceptable level and I know the reason for any occasional spike in those readings and how to adjust accordingly.

We are far more aware of what we eat, how much we eat and how often we eat certain foods. Our lifestyle has changed and it's all for the better. 

Read the original article 

Click here to read the original article. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – November 2017, page 16.

Additional information

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How diabetes affects men and women differently

Diabetes can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or lifestyle.

discussingThere are several reasons for the way diabetes affects men and women differently.

Diabetes treatment doesn’t change. Possible causes may be differences in how our body functions, differences in how our body responds to treatment and differences in how our mind responds in certain situations.

General similarities of both men and women: ‹‹

  • Being overweight is the strongest risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. ‹‹
  • Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased risk of several forms of cancer, e.g. pancreatic, renal, colorectal, liver, endometrial, breast and bladder cancer. ‹‹
  • Diabetes medications that allows the body to be more sensitive to insulin i.e. Metformin (Diabex, Diaformin, etc) and Thiazolidinediones (Rosiglitazone – Avandia and Pioglitazone – Actos) are associated with 20–30% reduced risk of cancer compared with treatment with a Sulphonylureas (this medication stimulates the production of insulin in the pancreas), i.e. Diamicron (Gliclazide), Amaryl (Glimepiride), Daonil (Glibenclamide), etc.

Differences in men: ‹‹

  • Metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and abdominal obesity) is increased in men, it can also be common in women due to increasing obesity. ‹‹
  • The signs of diabetes in men tend to be more recognisable making it easier for men to get diagnosed earlier. ‹‹
  • Men tend to develop diabetes at a younger age and at a lower weight, which means they receive more aggressive treatment earlier for diabetes and potential heart health risks. ‹‹
  • Low testosterone levels are associated with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance and are high risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. ‹‹ Men are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction — this can affect their sex lives. ‹‹ Men show signs of diabetic neuropathy more frequently and develop neuropathy earlier. This can lead to foot ulcers, gangrene and lower limb amputation. ‹‹ Bladder cancer is more common in men with type 2 diabetes.

Differences in women: ‹‹

  • LDL cholesterol is lower and HDL cholesterol is higher in premenopausal women. ‹‹
  • Elevated triglycerides and physical inactivity is a strong risk factor. ‹‹
  • Increased risk of missing a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes with fasting blood glucose only instead with oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). ‹‹
  • Women tend to be further along when diagnosed with diabetes making them more susceptible to complications. ‹‹ Protective effects of oestrogen against diabetes related kidney disease. ‹‹
  • Prevalence and severity of symptoms of gastroparesis is reported to be higher in women particularly among obese women with long duration of diabetes and high HbA1c (a measurement of average blood glucose levels over the last 3 months). ‹‹
  • Heart disease increases after menopause due to the difference in the way the hormones function, the blood vessels function and different impact of risk factors (women are relatively protected from heart disease before menopause). ‹‹
  • Diabetes is a risk factor for breast cancer and colorectal cancer in women. ‹‹
  • Women diagnosed with diabetes are more than likely to have depression, anxiety and low energy levels compared to men. ‹‹
  • Hormones and inflammation act differently in women. Menopause can cause changes in blood glucose levels and some women find it difficult to keep their blood glucose levels within target range around their menstrual cycle.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, a wide variety of medications and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and improve overall health. Consult your doctor before starting any new treatments, even if you think they’re safe.

Read the original article

Click here to read the original article. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – November 2017, page 12.

Additional information

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Diabetes SA Research Grant Program 

Diabetes SA is excited to announce that the following researchers have been successful in securing funding from the Diabetes SA Research Grant Program.

"With such a high calibre of applications the decision was not an easy one for the newly appointed Diabetes SA Research Sub-Committee," the President of Diabetes SA Peter Crouch said, " We were faced with very worthy applications and funding of only $200,000. So we sought the approval of Board to increase the funding to $270,750 which they approved. It was important for the committee to ensure that the selected research had representation across the different types of diabetes and that outcomes would be translatable in the South Australian diabetes community. Each applicant should be commended and whilst some 18 of 24 applications did not receive funding, this should not deter researchers from applying for future funding in the Diabetes SA Research Program."

Chair of the Diabetes SA Research Sub-Committee Geoff Weeks said: "Our special thanks must also be extended to the four co-opted specialist advisors – Professor Jennifer Couper, Professor Michael Horowitz, Associate Professor Stephen Stranks and Diabetes SA's Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Anthony Roberts. Each were very giving of their time, knowledge and expertise in the review process. Thank you also to the Board Members who were part of this committee."

Congratulations to the following successful applicants:

Associate Professor Richard Young – Adelaide Medical School – University of Adelaide

  • Project Title – A bitter tale of artificial sweeteners for type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes SA funding - $50,000

Dr Christina Bursill – South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Royal Adelaide Hospital

  • Project Title – Evaluation of the topical application of high density lipoproteins on wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers – a phase ½ clinical trial
  • Diabetes SA funding - $50,000

Dr Rebecca Thomson – Robinson Research Institute and Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Diabetes & Endocrinology Department, Women's & Children's Hospital and Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)

  • Project Title – The impact of modifiable exposures in the parent's and child's environment on the risk of type 1 diabetes.
  • Diabetes SA funding - $50,000

Dr Chinmay Marathe – Adelaide Medical School – University of Adelaide

  • Project Title – Effects of acute hyperglycaemia on the slowing of gastric emptying induced by short acting GLP-1 receptor agonists in type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes SA funding - $50,000

Professor Damien Keating – Department of Human Physiology, College of Medicine and Health - Flinders University

  • Project Title – Understanding the regulation of gut derived glucagon and its implications for type 2 diabetes treatment.
  • Diabetes SA funding - $50,000

Professor Paul Ward - College of Medicine and Public Health – Flinders University

  • Project Title – Reconstructing the stigma and blame, a critical pedagogy for stigmatised persons living with type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes SA funding - $20,750

We look forward to updates from each researcher as they progress their research areas.

 
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CEO's message – Living March 2018

There is nothing better than taking time out with your family to reconnect and recharge the batteries. The lazy days of summer provide wonderful opportunities to unwind and relax and to think about the important things in our life. But all good things must come to an end at some point as the routine of our busy lives creeps back in.

To start they year afresh our focus in Living this edition is ‘Diabetes in the Workplace’. The article on page 10 provides you with all the information you need to know about managing your diabetes in the work environment including the importance of having a sick day management plan and understanding your rights and responsibilities along with the employer’s rights and responsibilities.

As many of us return to work the article on page 16 raises the issue ‘is sitting the new smoking?’ and provides useful tips to keep us moving whether we are at work, at home or in transit. Understanding the link between waist circumference and increased risk of type 2 diabetes is explained in the article on page 14 which also provides information about what to do about midlife weight gain. To keep you eating well there are some great recipes on page 20 and healthy food swaps for snacks that will have you making better snack choices between meals.

Each year in Australia more than four men die every hour from conditions that are potentially preventable. That’s 41,000 men a year missing from the lives of many families. The article on page 8 discusses the many conditions that can affect men and provides tips for staying healthy. To all the men reading this – your health is important and so too are you!

Our feature article on Rodney Johns is a must read. Rodney shares his story of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and the challenges he has faced but more importantly what steps he has taken to manage his condition. As Rodney says in the article – “You have to know what you are living with. I am the one living with this, so I need to understand it and get information from the best-informed people’. His praise of our team at Diabetes SA only reinforces the importance of belonging to an organisation that provides the support you need to live well with diabetes.

As the views of our members are important to us, over the coming 12 months we will be working with Flinders Business to investigate and report on the services that Diabetes SA should look to develop to ensure our continuing relevance to people with diabetes in particular our members. In addition, our recent call for applications for Diabetes SA Research Grants across five priority areas has resulted in the Association receiving 24 applications from some of the best researchers in Australia and overseas. Further information about the Market Research Project and the Diabetes SA Research Grant Program can be found on page 4.

For the many members and donors that supported our recent Christmas appeal featuring Caitlin who was just 9 when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – Thank you.

Until next time stay happy and healthy.

Angelique Pasalidis, CEO Diabetes SA

The Association would like to acknowledge the passing of John Dyer OAM last year. A wonderful man who was committed to our cause and a generous contributor to our Board as a Committee Member and Treasurer.

Living – March 2018

This CEO's message was originally published in Living — March 2018.

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Living – March 2018

2018-March-LivingLiving — March has been distributed to the Diabetes SA members. 

Become a member today and receive the latest issue of Living in a Welcome Pack.

Highlights included:

Regulars

Health and Wellbeing

  • Men's health
  • Diabetes in the workplace
  • Weight gain
  • Is sitting the new smoking?
  • How to manage diabetes pre and post surgery
  • Q & A - most common questions about diabetes
  • Diabetes and driving

Food

  • Snack smart
  • Quick meals

Education

  • Education planner
  • Expert Speaker series
  • DESMOND & Smart Sessions

Membership matters

  • Member story - Rodney tells his story about type 1 diabetes

Community

  • Thank you - Funds raised enable us to help Caitlin and others

Retail update 

  • Great member prices for lancets and hypo products

Click here to download Living March 2018.

Click here to view previous editions of Living Magazine.

 
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2018 Food and Health Seminar

The Whole Picture

On Saturday 24 February, Diabetes SA held its annual Food and Health Seminar at the Adelaide Convention Centre, this year's topic being 'The Whole Picture'.

We were privileged to hear from three expert presenters who provided some really interesting information around diet and exercise, relative to diabetes.

Associate Professor Richard Young, Senior Research Fellow within the Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, based at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) translated his current research into artificial sweeteners which explores the effect of sweeteners on the gastrointestinal system and glucose absorption, assessing the overall impact on diabetes management. The audience were captivated and had some very good questions.

Thomas Pretlove, Accredited Exercise Physiologist working at Adelaide Exercise Physiology, specialises in areas of diabetes management and prevention, musculoskeletal assessment and ongoing rehabilitation.
Thomas discussed the barriers, benefits and motivators for activity, providing some very practical advice, and referral pathways for people with chronic conditions. Making physical activity achievable for all with the aim of helping people feel better every day was a key message.

Anissia Fairlie, Accredited Practising Dietitian Diabetes SA, with previous experience across private practice and aged care, working with a range of chronic conditions, discussed the evidence for a range of dietary patterns that have been used in research to assist in the management of diabetes. Anissia explored their commonalities to discuss which dietary patterns are associated with good health outcomes. The take home message was 'Eat food, mostly plant, not too much'. Simple!

A number of exhibitors provided interesting insight into their practice and research, as well as providing some great resources for attendees.

Thank you to all of our wonderful presenters who dedicated their Saturday morning in an endeavour to make a difference to the lives of people living with diabetes. We are very grateful.

We had one lucky winner take home a lovely gift pack that was donated by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association.

The feedback was fantastic on the day, and this was reflected in the attendees feedback forms.

Again, the seminar was filmed and will be available on our Online learning Platform on the Diabetes SA website, along with a number of other seminars and programs.

Our next seminar will be in July, keep an eye on our website for more information in the coming months.

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Click here to see more photos. 

Click here to watch the seminar recording.

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The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered with the assistance of Diabetes Australia.

 
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