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Information correction Perceived stress scale

We would like to publish a correction for the 'Perceived stress scale', published in November 2017 Living Magazine on page 15.

We note that there has been an omission of information (two very important dot points of vital information to arrive at a score).

Source: Perceived Stress Scale


Figuring Your PSS Score

You can determine your PSS score by following these directions:

First, reverse your scores for questions 4, 5, 7, and 8. On these 4 questions, change the scores like
this: 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0.

Now add up your scores for each item to get a total. My total score is ___________.

Individual scores on the PSS can range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher perceived stress.

  • Scores ranging from 0-13 would be considered low stress.
  • Scores ranging from 14-26 would be considered moderate stress.
  • Scores ranging from 27-40 would be considered high perceived stress.

The Perceived Stress Scale is interesting and important because your perception of what is happening in your life is most important.

Consider the idea that two individuals could have the exact same events and experiences in their lives for the past month. Depending on their perception, total score could put one of those individuals in the low stress category and the total score could put the second person in the high stress category.

Disclaimer: The scores on the following self-assessment do not reflect any particular diagnosis or course of treatment. They are meant as a tool to help assess your level of stress. If you have any further concerns about your current well being, please contact your GP for advice and support.




Season's greetings

As I reflect back on 2017 and what we have achieved as an organisation, paramount to our success has been our members and supporters who continue to value what we do and our staff who are committed to making a difference in the lives of people with diabetes.

On behalf of the Board of Management, our heartfelt thanks is extended to you all along with our best wishes for the festive season and the coming year.

caitlins-courageMerry Christmas 


CEO Signature

Angelique Pasalidis
Chief Executive Officer


PS: This Christmas, we shared Caitlin's story and many of you responded and showed your support. Thank you — your generosity has had a positive impact on so many people.

Please be advised that Diabetes SA will be closed from Friday 22 December 2017 (5pm) until Tuesday 2 January 2018 when we resume our normal trading hours. Click here for more information. 


Diabetes and alcohol — do the two mix?

alcohol-drinkAs Christmas approaches, it is very easy to let diabetes slip down the pecking order of priorities, as the focus turns towards parties, presents and family trips away.

For many people, having a drink or two is an integral part of celebrating the festive season, and having diabetes does not mean that you have to miss out on the Christmas cheer!

However, a recent report suggests that many people will triple their alcohol intake during the lead-up to Christmas.

This equates to party goers consuming, on average 10 standard drinks of alcohol a week.

In more simple terms, this may be the equivalent of 40 glasses of wine or over 20 schooners of full strength beer during the Christmas-New Year festivities. Think too of all those extra kilojoules that are being consumed!

Alcohol recommendations

The alcohol recommendations for people with diabetes are the same as the general population, with current National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) guidelines advising no more than two standard drinks a day with some alcohol free days each week.


For some people, reducing their alcohol intake further than these NH&MRC recommendations may be advised based on such factors as the medications being taken to manage diabetes.

It is important to discuss drinking alcohol with your diabetes health care team.

Alcohol and risk of low blood glucose levels

To understand why some people with diabetes need to be more careful when consuming alcohol than others, it is important to understand how alcohol is processed by the body.

When any type of alcohol is consumed, the liver starts working overtime to ‘detoxify’ or break down the alcohol into a less harmful substance.

This is just one of the hundreds of jobs that the liver does, and to say that the liver is hard-working is an understatement.

One of the liver’s other important roles is to release glucose when blood glucose levels start to fall, in an effort to prevent low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia or ‘hypos’). Now the liver can only do so much multi-tasking, and when alcohol is present, breaking the alcohol down is the liver’s main priority.

This means that while the liver is busy ‘reigning in’ the effects of that ‘Fluffy Duck’ cocktail, the falling blood glucose levels may go unnoticed.

For people who are using insulin or medication called sulfonylureas to manage their diabetes, the risk of ‘hypos’ is increased considerably.

Examples of sulfonylurea medication

  • Glibenclamide e.g. Glimel, Daonil and glibenclamide combination e.g. Glucovance
  • Gliclazide e.g. Glyade, Diamicron and Nidem
  • Glimepiride e.g. Diapride, Amaryl, Aylide, Dimirel
  • Glipizide e.g. Melizide, Minidiab 

The risk for these people is even higher if the alcohol is being consumed on an empty stomach.

Also, after a few drinks, the ability to recognise ‘hypo’ symptoms is often impaired.

Therefore, it is important to monitor blood glucose levels regularly, especially before going to bed and overnight if concerned, as the blood glucose lowering effects of alcohol can occur for more than 24 hours after the last drink.

Additionally, it is important to inform others around you of the risks of hypoglycaemia and be prepared with ‘hypo’ treatment, as others may mistake ‘hypo’ symptoms for drunken behaviour.

For people who are managing their diabetes with diet, exercise and other diabetes medication (apart from sulfonylureas and insulin) the risk of ‘hypos’ is less likely.

More information

Reducing the risk of hypoglycaemia

For people managing their diabetes with insulin or sulfonylurea medication, it is recommended that alcohol be consumed with a meal or some snacks containing carbohydrate, for example bread, pasta, rice, potato crackers or dried fruit.

Although it is best to limit regular soft drink mixers, pre-mixed alcoholic beverages and sweet liqueurs, if there are no carbohydrate containing foods available, use a regular soft drink or fruit juice when mixing drinks to help avoid hypoglycaemia.

Don't forget those kilojoules!

Listed below is the kilojoule content of some commonly consumed alcoholic drinks:

  • Small glass (120mL) red wine (12% alc) contains 342 kilojoules
  • 285mL glass of full strength beer (4.9% alc) contains 433 kilojoules
  • 275mL bottle of vodka alcopop (4.6% alc) contains 723 kilojoules
  • 375mL can of rum and coke (4.6% alc) contains 1038 kilojoules

Compare this to the average cooked roast Christmas turkey breast which contains 746 kilojoules. Now that is definitely something to consider! 

Read the original article 

Click here to read the original article. Author: Susan Bellman CDE. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – November 2016, page 14.

Additional information




Healthy eating at Christmas

Stay healthy over the festive season by following these five steps

christmas-puddingStaying healthy over the festive season can be easy, if you know how! Here are some very easy ways for you and your family to be healthier this Christmas!

Tip #1 Don't overdo it

Try not to pile your plate up too high or go overboard on the ‘sometimes foods.’ It is Christmas so try to enjoy these foods in moderation and recognise that Christmas is one of those special occasions when we may enjoy small portions of these foods.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you miss out on enjoying delicious food in the company of your family and friends, but you should consider your portion sizes.

Try to fill half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean meat and the last quarter with a starchy vegetable like potato, sweet potato, corn or legumes or some grains like rice, pasta or quinoa.

Tip #2 Try making a healthy platter

When preparing a platter for your Christmas event, try one that is healthy!

Why not make a fruit platter in the shape of a Christmas tree or a star, create ‘Christmas Grinch Kebabs’ with your children/grandchildren or you could try making a ‘Broccoli Christmas Tree’ platter made out of vegetable sticks and served with homemade tzatziki dip, or for dessert you could make some ‘Mini Christmas Puddings’; and if you’re feeling super creative, why not carve a watermelon into a shark (as they are currently in season). 

Tip #3 Modify your recipes

There are some simple ways to make Christmas time healthier. Here are some easy swaps for you to try:

  • Swap white bread for grainy bread
  • Swap full fat dairy for reduced fat dairy
  • Swap white flour for wholemeal flour
  • Swap white potato for sweet potato, sweet corn or legumes (i.e. baked beans)
  • Try leaving the skin on your vegetables rather than peeling them
  • Choose salt reduced variety of sauces, biscuits and margarine and try not to add salt to your cooking or to food at the table
  • Choose lean meats and trim any visible fat

For more tips on how to make your recipes healthier, click here to download our fact sheet.

Tip #4 Try to be active

We are so lucky in Australia to usually have beautiful weather over Christmas, so why not get outside and go for a walk after lunch or go for a stroll along the beach with your family and friends.

Play with your children/ grandchildren and their new toys, visit a park and test out their new Cricket set or play soccer in the backyard; children love it when you watch them play sport but they will love it even more if you join in!

Tip #5 Avoid too much alcohol

Christmas and alcohol in Australia are usually good friends but alcohol is high in energy and drinking large amounts regularly can lead to weight gain.

Here are some tips to help reduce your alcohol consumption this Christmas:

  • Dilute white wine or cider with mineral water or diet lemonade
  • Dilute beer with diet lemonade to make a shandy
  • Try drinking low strength beer like mid-strength or light beer
  • Refill your glass only when it is empty so you know how much you are drinking
  • Make mocktails with diet soft drinks
  • Make sure you drink lots of water between drinks.

But most important of all, try to have a wonderful, happy and safe Christmas!

Read the original article

Click here to read the original article. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – November 2015, page 10.

Additional information




2018 Teen Camp for teens with type 1 diabetes

Diabetes SA will be holding their annual Teen Camp for teens with type 1 diabetes, at Mylor Baptist Camp on Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 February 2018.

The camp is for teenagers aged 13-16 years at the time of camp.

Keep your eye out for expressions of interest that will be arriving in the mail soon.

  • Click here to download .pdf 2018 Teen Camp - Expression of Interest.

Please contact Diabetes SA if your contact details have changed or you have not received an expression of interest. 

All expressions of interest close of 22 December 2017.

Diabetes SA cannot run these camps without the support of staff, volunteers and leaders. If you are interested in any of these roles, please contact Health Services at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 1300 198 204.

Would you like to find out more about Teen Camps?



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


And the winners are...

live-it-up-2017-logoThank you to all Diabetes SA members supporters who took part in the 2017 Live It Up Lottery.

The draw took place on Friday 8 December 2017 at Diabetes SA at 1pm and the following tickets were the winners: 

2017 Live It Up Lottery:

First prize $20,000 cash OR VW Polo Urban 7 Speed DSG (automatic) VALUED AT $21,330
Ticket number: 15564

Second prize $3,000 cash
Ticket number: 14913

Third prize $1,000 Westfield Voucher
Ticket number: 01645

Early Bird prize $1,000 – returned a complete sold book by 20 October 2017
Book number: 4434

VIP prize $1,000 – returned a pre-ordered, complete sold book
Book number: 5494

Congratulations to all of the lucky winners!

Join our VIP list

Stand by for the next exciting Diabetes SA lottery with details to be announced shortly.

Increase your chances of winning by entering our VIP list

  • To avoid disappointment don't forget to register as a VIP for our next lottery commencing in February 2018.
  • We have extended our offer to register as a VIP for our next lottery for a chance to win a $150 IKEA voucher. Register by Friday 23 February 2018 for your chance to win.
  • Would you like to receive a number of books and get your workplace, sports or community club involved? Call 8354 5812 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Join our VIP list

Licence No M13354. Number of tickets 60,000. Conducted by Diabetes SA. Proceeds in aid of information, support and education. Drawn 1.00pm 8 December 2017 at Diabetes SA, 159 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton SA 5033. Results published in the Advertiser on 13 December 2017. Prizes not transferable or redeemable for cash. 



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