Medicine Informations

 

« Scope Family Fun day 23 March | Main | LISTERIA OUTBREAK - JINDI CHEESE PRODUCTS RECALL »
Friday
Jan182013

FREE DIABETES HEALTHCHECK

Diabetes can affect your body and your health in different ways. There are a number of check-ups you can have every year to make sure that any complications are spotted early, monitored and treated if necessary. This is known as your Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care — which is eligible for Medicare rebate — and is a way for you and your doctor to plan all the health checks and tests you need each year.

How will the Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care help me?

The Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care provides access to health checks including:

  • a comprehensive eye examination
  • testing your kidney function
  • foot examination
  • reviewing all your medicines
  • a review of your diet and physical activity
  • checking your HbA1c, blood pressure, cholesterol and other fat levels.

What should I do?

  • make an appointment with your doctor to plan your Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care
  • ask your doctor how often you should have each test
  • ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician or exercise physiologist for advice about healthy eating and physical activity

Diabetes is best managed and treated with the help of a team of health professionals with a range of expertise. This team may include the following members:

General practitioner also known as doctor

A general practitioner will be responsible for coordinating diabetes education, management and care, and can provide a referral to an appropriate specialist doctor or other health professionals.

Practice nurse

In many practices, a practice nurse will play an important role in establishing, managing and implementing systems for diabetes care.

Pharmacist

A pharmacist can provide information and advice on any of your medicines, including how to take them correctly, possible side effects and medicine interactions, and ways to help you manage your medicines.

Ask your pharmacist about using a Safety Net Card for your prescription medicines. Your pharmacist can also help to check your list of medicines and make sure it is up to date when you change medicines.

If you have diabetes, you may be eligible for a Diabetes MedsCheck, which is fully funded by our Government. This is an opportunity for you to have a private, face-to-face conversation with a pharmacist about your medicines and blood glucose management in a pharmacy. This is different from the Government-funded Home Medicines Review. 

Your doctor can also organise for you to have a Home Medicines Review, where a pharmacist will visit you in your home to discuss your medicines. Some of your medicines may no longer be needed.

*Diabetes educator

Diabetes educators are specially trained people who can provide information about diabetes,dietphysical activity and how to test blood glucose levels, medicines to control diabetesfoot care and any other needs. A general practitioner can refer you to a diabetes educator. For more information, visit the Australian Diabetes Educators Association website, or contact a local community health centre or major hospital, and ask for an appointment with a diabetes educator.

Dietitian

Dietitians play an important role in helping people with newly diagnosed diabetes. A general practitioner can refer you to a dietitian. For some people with type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes including a healthy dietregular physical activity and weight loss are often enough to control glucose levels without the need for diabetes medicines.

For more information on dietitians, visit the Dieticians Association of Australia website.

Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a health professional specialising in problems with feet, ankles, knees, legs and hips. People with diabetes can experience problems with their feet; for example, wounds that won’t heal. This is because diabetes can affect blood flow to the feet and this reduces the body’s ability to heal foot wounds. Diabetes can also cause damage to nerves in the feet, which means that the ability to feel pain or temperature extremes is reduced, increasing the chance of injury. A general practitioner can refer you to a podiatrist for regular check-ups. Your podiatrist can advise on the best way to care for your feet to reduce the risk of injuries and complications.

The Australasian Podiatry Council can help you find your nearest specialist.

Physiotherapist or exercise physiologist

A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can work out a personalised physical activity program especially for diabetes. This is particularly helpful for people who are normally relatively inactive and just starting out on an exercise program. A general practitioner can refer you to a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

Specialist diabetologist, endocrinologist or paediatrician

A specialist diabetologist or endocrinologist is necessary for anyone with health problems related to their diabetes, and children with diabetes should be referred to a paediatrician. A general practitioner can refer you to a diabetologist, endocrinologist, or a paediatrician.

Ophthalmologist or optometrist

Anyone who has diabetes needs to be regularly checked by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. An annual vision check is recommended. This is because some eye conditions, such as cataracts (clouding in the lens of the eye affecting vision), damage to the retina (diabetic retinopathy), and glaucoma, are more common in people with diabetes. This way, any problems with vision can be picked up and treated if they are identified early. A general practitioner can refer you to an ophthalmologist or optometrist. All Australians (including people with diabetes) can have a Medicare-funded vision check by an optometrist once every 2 years, with or without a doctor’s referral.

Dentist

Dental problems are common in people with diabetes, so anyone with diabetes needs to see a dentist regularly (e.g. once every year).

Psychologist, social worker or counsellor

Some people with diabetes may find that they need the support of a psychologist, social worker or counsellor. A general practitioner can refer you so that you can get the help you need.

For more information, watch the video below to find out more about how your health professional support team can help you manage your diabetes.

Register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) can provide diabetes-related blood glucose monitoring equipment at subsidised/discounted prices, and provides information and support on a range of topics. Registration is free. Ring them on 1300 136 588 (via NRS) or visit www.ndss.com.au.