I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes – what happens now?
Being diagnosed with any chronic illness can be stressful and overwhelming, however it doesn't have to be. If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, it is only natural that you may feel worried and concerned about managing diabetes.1
The good news is that when diabetes is managed well, you can continue to lead a normal, healthy life.1 There are so many things you can do to take charge of our diabetes so that you stay on target with your health goals. This page summarises the next steps after a diagnosis of diabetes.
The diagnosisThere are three ways of diagnosing type 2 diabetes:2
• A blood glucose test
• An oral glucose tolerance test
• A HbA1c test
Either one or more of these tests will be used by your healthcare professional to diagnose you with diabetes.2
Other tests and examinationsOnce you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare professional will gather more information to help determine the best possible management strategy for you diabetes. These will include:1,3
• Family History
• Physical examination including carefully looking at your mouth, feet, eyes, abdomen, skin and thyroid gland.
• Other pathology tests
Your healthcare professional may also ask about you current diet and eating patters, any medication you may be taking, and any other treatments you may be having for other medical conditions.
All of this information helps your healthcare professional determine can affect your diabetes and how you manage it.1
Introduction to a diabetes management plan and team
There are many components to managing diabetes, which could include several healthcare professionals to help with your diabetes management plan. Your doctor will likely introduce, or refer, you to the other members of your diabaetes healthcare
team. These could include:2
• an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist)
• a credentialled diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner
• a dietitian
• an exercise physiologist
• a registered podiatrist
• a counsellor, social worker or psychologist.
Remember, managing diabetes is a team effort, and you are the captain!
The healthcare team are there to assist you manage your diabetes. They will help you decide on the best management strategies but at the end of the day, you are the best person to manage your diabetes on a daily basis.
Abbott has a range of blood sugar monitoring systems, including the Freestyle Libre 2 System. For more information visit us here.
What is HbA1c and why is it important?
Haemoglobin A1c (or HbA1c) is a very important measurement for monitoring your diabetes. In your blood, glucose and haemoglobin (the protein in your red blood cells) join together. This new molecule is called HbA1c.4 If your blood glucose levels are high, more glucose will bind to your haemoglobin, causing your HbA1c levels to increase.5
Your doctor can use HbA1c measurements to monitor the effectiveness of your diabetes treatment, as it is directly related to the amount of glucose in your blood over the last few months.4
How to understand your results?
The measurement assists your doctor in creating an individualised HbA1c target that is usually ≤7%.4,6 If your HbA1c is higher than your target, your doctor may consider changing your treatment or testing it more regularly to ensure your diabetes management is under control.7
Information about diabetesAfter a diagnosis with diabetes, your healthcare team will likely provide you with lots of information about diabetes, any medications you may need, and other strategies that may help you manage your diabetes. So much information can be overwhelming, but your healthcare team will likely provide you with resources you can take home and look at in your own time.
Other reliable sources for information about diabetes are the Diabetes Australia website and the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) website.
If you have any questions or concerns, ask your healthcare team – remember, they are there to help.
- National Diabetes Services Scheme. Understanding type 2 diabetes. Available at: https://static.diabetesaustralia.com.au/s/fileassets/diabetes-australia/8948f94d-9ebe-4f04-83df-558dfb555205.pdf
- Diabetes Australia. Just been diagnosed? Available at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/just-been-diagnosed
- Health Direct. HbA1c test. 2020. Available online at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hba1c-test
- Health Direct. HbA1c test. 2020. Available online at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hba1c-test.
- Lab Tests Online – Explaining Pathology. HbA1c. 2021. Available online at: https://www.labtestsonline.org.au/learning/test-index/hba1c.
- Phillips P and Leow S. Aust. Fam. Physician. 2014;43(9):611-5
- The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Management of type 2 diabetes: A handbook for general practice. 2020. Available online at: https://www.racgp.org.au/getattachment/41fee8dc-7f97-4f87-9d90-b7af337af778/Management-of-type-2-diabetes-A-handbook-for-general-practice.aspx