In a recent study, a group of scientists from Western Sydney University wanted to improve the care of people with type 2 diabetes.
They found that a short 15-20 minute discussion between a local endocrinologist and a general practitioner (GP) could make a big difference in managing the disease.
This type of care is called “patient-free” diabetes case conferencing.
With the patient’s consent, an endocrinologist would visit a GP practice, along with a practice nurse or diabetes educator, to work together on developing a joint management plan for the patient.
The scientists tested this model on more than 600 patients with type 2 diabetes from 40 general practices across southwestern Sydney.
They found that blood glucose levels, blood pressure, weight, and other heart risk factors all improved after the three-year trial.
Blood glucose levels improved significantly between 2017 and 2020, with more than a third of patients now within the target range, compared with just one in five before the program.
In addition, more than three-quarters of patients had systolic blood pressure within the target range on follow-up, compared with less than half in 2017.
These findings suggest that patient-free diabetes case conferencing can significantly improve diabetes management in primary care settings.
The best part is that this model is a win-win-win for patients, GPs, and the health system.
Patients get specialist input into their care without any extra time or cost, GPs can continue to manage their patients using their extra knowledge, and the health system has less demand on hospital clinics, potentially reducing and preventing hospitalizations in people with complex diabetes compared with usual care.
So, if you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes, it’s important to talk to your doctor about this model of care. It could make a big difference in managing the disease and improving overall health.
How to manage type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management. Here are some strategies that may help you manage type 2 diabetes:
Monitor blood sugar levels: Checking your blood sugar levels regularly is important for managing diabetes.
Your doctor can help you determine how often you should check your blood sugar and what your target levels should be.
Follow a healthy diet: A balanced and healthy diet can help you control blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight.
Your diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. It’s also important to limit sugary and processed foods.
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help lower blood sugar levels and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Take medication as prescribed: If your doctor has prescribed medication to help manage your diabetes, it’s important to take it as directed.
Manage stress: Stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so finding ways to manage stress is important for managing diabetes. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of complications from diabetes, so quitting smoking is important for managing the condition.
Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can affect blood sugar levels, so aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Work with a healthcare team: Your healthcare team can help you manage your diabetes and prevent complications. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups and follow your doctor’s advice.
Remember that managing type 2 diabetes is an ongoing process, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient with yourself, and keep trying different strategies until you find what works best for you.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about the leading cause of death in type 2 diabetes, and if you have diabetes, coffee, and green tea may help you live longer.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about Keto diet could help control body weight, and blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, and results showing that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome.
The study was conducted by Professor David Simmons et al and published in the International Journal of Integrated Care.
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