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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why do doctors focus on Diabetes?

    Hi,  I developed gestational diabetes then Type 2 diabetes a year later. I have found that doctors seem to focus on diabetes, almost to the exclusion of other conditions. Sugar control is the only thing that interests them. Have you found that?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Cecile Eigenmann

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse

    Cecile has been a Diabetes Educator since 1993 and has worked within the public hospital and private health care system and as project officer at … View Profile

    Dear Jenny

    From my experience as a diabetes educator, from what people with diabetes tell me, it is not always the case that doctors focus on diabetes, on the contrary, often people tell me that their doctor doesn't look at their blood glucose record book.

    It really depends on the doctor, some have a special interest in diabetes, others seem to not take diabetes serious enough and may not provide the minimal standard of care a person with diabetes can expect from their GP.

    I believe it is important for the doctor to take a holistic approach to diabetes care as other conditions and medications can affect blood glucose levels.

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile

    Hi Jenny and Cecilee,  I practice as an accredited exercise physiologist… I agree with Cecilee, from my experience with assisting people manage their diabetes, that the GP's focus on diabetes varies quite a bit. Often the people I assist have comorbid health conditions - heart and or lung disease, etc. From discussing with the individual GP relating to a patient with diabetes, most GPs focus on the ‘most’ important current health concern to assist them through that episode. With regard to blood glucose, I always ask a new patient what their current level is… often they don't know. This tells me that the doctors focus is not solely on blood glucose levels.  I also agree with Cecilee that there are GPs who may not be providing the minimum level of care for people with diabetes. I attended a meeting with a GP clinic last week to inform them of additional services through Medicare that are available to people with type II diabetes. The clinic did not know that these services existed! Now they know, they intend to utilise the service. This will help to provide better health care! Sounds great to me!  Regards, Neil

  • Jenny Wallis

    HealthShare Member

    Neil, good reply.  I live in a small country town in NSW and I am not sure of any assistance! Could you pleae tell me what the additional services through medicare are so I can check if my GP knows about them. I believe the individual needs to learn all they can about diabetes and treatment and self management is crucial, with support from the medical profession. I am still a little scarred from the Doctor who told me, when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child at 42, that looking after my insulin levels myself was “like letting as teenager loose in a parking lot with a high powered car”, suggesting that I was stupid and dangerous! As if I would harm my much wanted, much loved unborn baby. Deborah was born at 37 weeks, 3.02kg, perfectly healthy, so I did a fine job, despite the negative and woeful behaviour of the GP's!

  • Jenny Wallis

    HealthShare Member

    Phew, I feel much better for typing that!!!

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile

    Hi olderthanifeel…. Glad to hear that you had a ‘successful’ pregnancy and your bub is healthy!  I am currently involved in the exercise management of two ladies (one late 30's, the other early 40's) who had gestational diabetes during each of their pregnancies (both had two pregnancies, with gestational diabetes on each occasion). Both of these ladies now have been diagnosed with type II diabetes. One lady is firing along (has been involved with me for 12+ months) and the other is making slow but forward progress (has just begun exercise and has motivational barriers).



    Where people have a chronic medical condition - this includes diabetes - a GP can refer their patient to allied health disciplines - physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, exercise physiology, podiatry, dietitian, etc - through a Federal Government Medicare Program Enhanced Primary Care (EPC). Each calendar year, each person who meets the criteria for an EPC plan is eligible for 5 only services per year. Where people have type II diabetes, they are eligible for ADDITIONAL Medicare services beyond the EPC. THIS IS THE PART MOST GP's DONT KNOW EXISTS. Through a group referral, people with type II diabetes can access a further x1 one-to-one assessment and x8 group sessions with either a diabetes educator, accredited practicing dietitian or accredited exercise physiologist. Depending on what clinics/ services you have a available in your town, how and what these services will provide you with will vary. Due to my professional skills - physiotherapist and accredited exercise physiologist - we run these group sessions as an exercise class.



    My suggestion to you is to search for an accredited exercise physiologist in your town and ask them about Medicare services. If your local accredited exercise physiologist is not aware of these services, feel free to pass on my details and I can forward them - and you for that matter - the extra paperwork. Hope this helps…!



    I am happy to discuss further as you need.



    Regards, Neil

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile

    Sorry Jenny, read your profile name, hence replied to ‘olderthanifeel’!



    Best wishes, Neil

  • Jenny Wallis

    HealthShare Member

    Neil, thank you so much for your reply. I have done an EPC once but I didn't realise I could have one every year! Now I am on a get fit / live longer / resolve injuries campaign, I will get on to my doctor about accessing these services.



    Would you mind if I printed your reponse and showed it to my other friends with chronic conditions? Very useful information. I will show my GP also.



    Exercise psychologist - just did an internet search and found one in my town, at a medical centre my husband attends. So that's cool.



    Thanks again, for your help. Jen

  • Rochelle @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Jen. Great to see you are getting value from your Healthshare experience. Rather than print this out for your friends, why dont you get them to join Healthshare, “follow” Diabetes and “receive email notifications” from the Diabetes community. Shortly we will be launching customised regular newsletters for the featured communities where more info like this will be available. Happy Healthsharing! Share the journey and spread the word.

  • Jenny Wallis

    HealthShare Member

    Rochelle, I will tell everyone I know about this site and encourage them to sign up and join in. I will also tell my PDHPE teachers at school about it also. I will print it out also as many people are still technologically challenged and not adventurous with internet use. Do you have any promotional material I could distribute? Jen

  • Rochelle @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks Jen, yes we do have, we will get something to you next week.



    Just so you know there is a 'share“ button on the top right of every page. When ever there is a post that you think may interest someone, simply click the ”share" button, add their email address, then click on the email address to confirm. This will prompt someone who is not a member to sign up and advise them of the post you are sharing. You can even customise part of the message you send them when you do this. Try it out and let us know how you go.

  • Jenny Wallis

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks for that tip. Will give it a go. Jen

  • Rochelle @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Let me know how you go with it and if you have any questions .

  • Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile

    Hi Jen,



    Looks like you have been active on health share! Great!



    Also looks like you are active in wanting to manage your (and your friends) health! Like Rochelle mentioned, inviting your friends to be apart of health share would be fantastic. Where my patients are technologically savvy, I have started directing them to the site.



    With regard to the previous information I supplied… It is fine by me to print this off and show friends and your GP.



    Regards, Neil

  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    I
    am a credentialed diabetes educator and deal a lot with women with GDM (around 60 or so every week!). It is my
    experience that, when you provide the women with the right information, they do
    extremely well at looking after their diabetes during the pregnancy. After all,
    everyone wants a healthy baby.



    It
    is very common to develop type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy, in fact studies
    have shown that around one third of women will have a form of glucose
    intolerance a year after the birth of their baby, and 50% of women with GDM
    will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years!



    It sounds to me that you are one of
    these people who is keen to look after themselves, to take responsibility for
    your own health, but you are not being taken serious (enough) by your GP. I
    gather it can be difficult to live in the country as there is often not much choice
    (if any?) in doctors.



    The support that Neil was referring to
    is the “new” Medicare allied health and dental care initiative from
    Medicare Australia, which allows chronically ill people who are being managed
    by their GP under a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan to access Medicare
    rebates for allied health services, such as diabetes educators, dietitians, exercise
    physiologist, osteopaths and the like, for up to 5 visits per year. You are
    also eligible for Medicare rebates for dental services up to around $4000.



    If you
    check out www.adea.com.au you can find a
    credentialed diabetes educator in your area. Ask your GP for an EPC referral
    and you can obtain the information that you require. I hope that you find this
    helpful. Please let me know if you like further information.

  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    Hi Jen, I just realised that there were a whole heap more resposes and so you would have received some info from me that you were already aware off. Good on you for being persistent in finding the info that you need. Keep up the good work!

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