Did you know that around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated)?

What makes this even scarier is 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes!

What exactly is diabetes?

There are actually three main types of diabetes. Let’s run through them:

  • Type 1 diabetes – Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live.
  • Type 2 diabetes – Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.

Why is it so important to take extra caution when you have diabetes?

Taking care of yourself is hugely important! It can affect your health in many different ways. Those who look after health will be less likely to have:

  • Heart attacks or strokes
  • Eye and sight problems
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet
  • Kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
  • Teeth and gum problems

How do we manage our diabetes properly?

As a Credentialled Diabetes Educator I always say there are three key actions we need to take three key actions to keeping on top of things.

1. Blood Glucose Monitoring

One of the most important parts of diabetes treatment is to keep your blood glucose levels within a specified target range. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin.

Over time your readings will provide you and your health support team with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes. Keeping blood glucose levels within a target range can help reduce your risk of developing a range of diabetes-related complications.

The number of times people with diabetes who use insulin will check their blood glucose levels varies according to a number of factors. People with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin may not need to check their blood glucose levels as regularly, however they may find a period of structured self-monitoring to be helpful.

When and how often you should check your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L). Your doctor or a Credentialled Diabetes Educator like myself will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for.

You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.

2. Exercise and being active!

Exercise is vitally important in managing your diabetes and health overall. I usually say that if you are not used to physical activity start small  - set a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slow by taking 10 minute walks, 3 times a day.

You should also include some strength conditioning. Twice a week, work to increase your muscle strength. Use stretch bands, do yoga and heavy gardening (digging and planting with tools).

3. Watch what you eat

Minding what you eat is just as important as the first two steps. Creating a meal plan with an expert will help you manage this greatly.

Try and choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Eat foods with more fibre, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta. Filling your plate with foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals is also a great idea.


Remember, you will need to stay on top of your health if you have been diagnosed with any type of diabetes. Management is the ultimate key to success.

Visit the right health support people at least twice a year to find and treat and issues early! At Fit Foot Podiatry we are here to support you and help manage your diabetes!