Just been di­ag­nosed?

There's a lot to take in fol­low­ing a di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis – don't panic, we're here to help

Diabetic Living - - Front Page -

DI­A­BETES 101 Get­ting your head around "di­a­betes lingo"? Read on...

• When should I test my blood

glu­cose lev­els (BGLs)? This varies de­pend­ing on the type of di­a­betes and your med­i­ca­tion, but pos­si­ble times in­clude be­fore meals, two hours af­ter eat­ing, be­fore bed, be­fore you ex­er­cise and if you’re feel­ing un­well.

• What should my BGLs be?

As a guide, if you have type 1 di­a­betes, a healthy tar­get to aim for is 4-6mmol/L be­fore you eat, and 4-8mmol/L two hours af­ter start­ing a meal. If you have type 2 di­a­betes, aim for 6-8mmol/L be­fore meals, and 6-10mmol/L two hours af­ter start­ing a meal. Ask your doc­tor or Cre­den­tialled Di­a­betes Ed­u­ca­tor for more guid­ance.

• What’s mmol/L?

It stands for mil­limoles per litre of blood, and is how BGLs are mea­sured.

What’s HbA1c? It’s your av­er­age BGLs over a pe­riod of 10-12 weeks and, used in con­junc­tion with the blood glu­cose mon­i­tor­ing you do your­self, paints a picture of your blood glu­cose man­age­ment. Your doc­tor will ar­range a HbA1c test ev­ery three to six months.

What’s a hypo? It’s when BGLs drop be­low 4mmol/L. A hypo can make it hard to con­cen­trate, so some ac­tiv­i­ties (like driv­ing) aren’t safe, and it needs to be treated quickly us­ing spe­cific foods. Only peo­ple who take in­sulin or some types of glu­coselow­er­ing tablets are at risk of a hypo.

• Will I have to use in­sulin?

Yes, if you have type 1. But 50 per cent of peo­ple with type 2 will also need in­sulin six to 10 years af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed, be­cause the pan­creas pro­duces less in­sulin over time.

What’s pre-di­a­betes? It’s when BGLs are higher than nor­mal, but not high enough for a type 2 di­ag­no­sis. Lifestyle changes can de­lay or pre­vent pre-di­a­betes from be­com­ing type 2.

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