Dr Daphne Su-Lyn Gardner, Consultant from the Department of Endocrinology at Singapore General Hospital shares some healthcare essentials for type 1 diabetes.
”Type 1 Diabetes is a lifelong condition, knowing how to monitor your health and look after yourself holistically helps to keep you in check and minimise future complications,” says
Dr Daphne Su-Lyn Gardner, Consultant,
Department of Endocrinology,
Singapore General Hospital, a member of the
Having the right care is crucial for all individuals with diabetes. Here are some essential checks and services you should receive or prioritise when you have type 1 diabetes:
For more information on
what is type 1 diabetes and the
guide for self-management, see previous pages.
Get your blood glucose levels measured.
This is known as HbA1c and should be done at least annually, preferably every 3 to 4 monthly. The HbA1c measures your overall glucose control over the preceding three months and helps you and your diabetes healthcare team to set your own target.
In addition, performing regular self-monitoring of capillary blood glucose levels will in between your consults with your doctor allows you to observe your glucose levels and manage your insulin dose titrations well.
- Have your blood pressure measured and recorded at least once a year.
Know your personal target.
Have your blood fat profile (cholesterol and triglycerides) measured at least every year.
- Have your eyes, kidneys, legs and feet checked.
Please refer to the section on diabetes complications and annual screening.
- Get individual, ongoing dietary advice.
This is especially since with type 1 diabetes, counting carbohydrates is an important part of ongoing self-management and insulin dose titration.
In addition you should have ongoing support and information you need to manage your weight, and to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
- Get emotional and psychological support.
Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and living with a long term condition can be difficult. Be unafraid to talk about your issues and concerns with your specialist healthcare team.
- See diabetes healthcare professionals.
Managing type 1 diabetes is complex and requires input from various healthcare team members, including the diabetes physician, diabetes nurse educator, and Dietitian.
- If you smoke, get support and advice on how to quit.
Diabetes itself increases your risk of heart disease and stroke and smoking further increases this risk.
- If you have type 1 diabetes and are planning to have a baby, get guidance and specialist care on planning for a healthy pregnancy.
Some medications may need to be stopped or change prior to pregnancy. Your diabetes control has to be a lot tighter before and during pregnancy and you will need to be monitored closely throughout pregnancy.