A dietitian’s take on diabetes week

Vital Health Kingaroy dietitian William Best is passionate about creating awareness around diabetes. Picture: Contributed

Australia promotes the National Diabetes Week in July to increase awareness about the disease. Vital Health Kingaroy’s dietitian Will Best shares some information about the topic.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a medical condition where the body cannot properly maintain an appropriate level of blood sugars. This improper management of blood sugars can occur due to insulin resistance and/or reduced insulin production, this hinders sugar from entering our muscles and keeps it circulating through our bloodstream. High blood sugar can cause damage to blood vessels and lead to complications such as increased risks of heart attacks and strokes, preventable blindness, kidney failure and even loss of limbs through medical amputations. Thankfully, blood sugar levels may be managed through appropriate dietary action. Will recently treated a senior from the South Burnett with a diagnosis of diabetes who had been afraid and uninformed on what was appropriate to eat, and so he did the opposite.

He started to eat poorly and developed malnutrition due to a fear of not properly controlling his diet and blood sugar levels. Whilst assessing that patient Will found out he was eating for breakfast water and cereal only. This is why it is important that people, especially those with diabetes, are properly oriented on their food intake.

Indications for referral

A referral to a dietitian for T2DM should be considered if the patient presents with any of these indications:

– New Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

– Unstable BGL’s

– Elevated HbA1c

– Frequent Hypoglycaemia

– Poor understanding of nutrition management

– Changes to prescribed medication including Insulin

– Undesirable weight changes

– Emerging renal disease (stage 3 or 4)

Benefits of dietitian involvement

An accredited practising dietitian (APD) can assist by prescribing a tailored nutritional care plan that suits an individual’s needs, lifestyle, medications, and other disease management. This personalised nutritional care plan can help to increase knowledge of the relationship between food and diabetes, improve blood sugar control, reduce risks of complications, and improve body weight.