Your diabetes healthcare team
If you’re living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes it’s recommended you have a team of health professionals to support you and help you to live well with diabetes. Your team may consist of some or all of the following.
An endocrinologist is a specialist in diabetes offering support to people with generally more complex diabetes, or diabetes that’s becoming challenging to manage. An endocrinologist may also become involved when your doctor needs more support to help them treat your diabetes, or when you may have an increasing risk of developing complications like peripheral vascular disease, diabetic retinopathy or diabetic nephropathy.
A psychologist looks at the emotional and behavioural factors associated with diabetes and can put together a customised self-care plan that can help maintain your emotional health and reduce the risks of diabetes-related stress.
An audiologist or audiometrist cares for ears and checks hearing, since diabetes can double your risk of developing hearing loss through associated complications.
A general practitioner (GP) will often be the person who diagnosed your condition and provides your regular care and diabetes checks. They also generally develop a diabetes plan to help you to navigate your journey, by referring you to the specialist health professionals who will make up your individual diabetes healthcare team.
An exercise physiologist specialises in creating and delivering exercise regimens for people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes. They deliver individual consultations as well as group sessions.
A dentist cares for your oral health, including people with full or partial dentures. This check is important for identifying and managing problems, including conditions such as tooth decay (caries) periodontal (gum) disease and Candida albicans (oral thrush). An annual check-up is recommended.
A dietitian will examine your diet and make recommendations, and can prescribe a tailored eating plan based on your individual needs and food preferences. This can help improve your overall health as you navigate your life with diabetes.
A diabetes educator will support and guide you through your journey with diabetes, by helping you understand your diabetes, make lifestyle adjustments, and teaching you the skills you need to successfully self-manage diabetes.
An optometrist performs annual eye examinations to identify any potential problems and can refer you to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) if needed, to avoid complications associated with vision loss, including diabetic retinopathy.
A pharmacist can help you understand your medications and when to take them, and can identify and manage any side affects you may experience. They can also give advice about complementary medications or supplements and alert you to any possible interactions.
A podiatrist can check the blood supply and feeling in both of your feet. They can also treat any problems from below the knee to the foot, which can include any issues with your muscles, bones or skin. A podiatrist can also teach you how to care for your feet.
Meet the Team
In these informative short films, members of a diabetes healthcare team briefly explain what they do and how they can help you if you’re living with diabetes. Watch the videos here.