Clear and ongoing communication between you and your healthcare team is essential for effective self-management.
Everyone is different and decisions need to be made about the management and treatment of your type 1 diabetes on a regular basis. Your healthcare team are there to help you with your tailored management plan.
The team will consist of:
This is a doctor who specialises in type 1 diabetes. You should see a diabetologist at regular intervals – every three months at first and then less frequently when your type 1 diabetes is under control. You will have been treated by a diabetologist if you were admitted to hospital. As this will be a long-term relationship, it’s a good idea to find a diabetologist you like, and who is conveniently located.
Diabetes specialist nurse (DSN)
This is a nurse who specialises in the management and treatment of type 1 diabetes. The role was developed, and continues to develop, to specifically meet the needs of people with type 1 diabetes and their families at all stages of their lives.
This includes supporting independence, helping people effectively self-manage their type 1 diabetes, reducing the risk of long-term complications, supporting people with complex needs and reducing the time spent in hospital by those with type 1 diabetes due to illness.
DSNs provide experience and expertise as part of dedicated diabetes teams and provide support to other healthcare professionals in the care they provide.
General Practitioner (GP)
Your GP will focus on your overall health. They can also provide you with referrals to other specialists.
A specialist diabetes dietitian can provide you with information on food choices, portion sizes, glycaemic index (GI) and menu planning, taking into account your own preferences.
Dietitians are particularly useful if you also suffer from other conditions related to type 1 diabetes such as Coeliac disease.
Learning how to manage your type 1 diabetes can be a difficult and at times, daunting. A psychologist can provide you and your partner or family with support as you adjust to living with type 1 diabetes.
Ophthalmologist or Optometrist
Eye damage from type 1 diabetes is very manageable with early intervention, so make sure you have an annual eye check-up to help keep eye damage at bay. You should get an invitation to an appointment on an annual basis.