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General Health

Image General Health sectionDiabetes is a complex disease in that it can affect many parts of your body as well as your mind. Knowing how to look after yourself to minimise or even prevent complications is the first important step.

The Diabetes Australia website provides useful information on general health and diabetes.

There are a couple of other areas of general health you should be aware of. 

Body Image

People with diabetes have to constantly think about the food they eat and monitor their weight and level of exercise. For some people their diabetes management can make them worry about their body image, which might lead to an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. If you think you may have an eating disorder it’s important to seek help and treatment from a team of health professionals that understand both diabetes and eating disorders. You should talk to your doctor or CDE about getting further help if you think you might have an eating disorder.

There is a growing trend for people to control their weight by controlling their insulin levels. This is a dangerous decision as it can lead to major complications. You should talk to your doctor or CDE about maintaining a healthy body image and the correct insulin levels for you.

For more information on body image, loving your body and support go to reachout.com.au and if you need someone to talk to visit Diabetes Counselling Online.

Or, the Type 1 Diabetes Network Inc. can connect you with other people living with diabetes.

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Thrush

If you are a female and have diabetes you are more prone to developing thrush. As embarrassing and uncomfortable as it can be, it is easily treated and occurs quite often in the general population. For more information visit  the MyDr site. If you think you might have thrush make sure you visit your doctor.

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Mental Health

“They should really encourage young people to see a psychologist, even if they think they’re fine. Especially, if they think they’re fine. You’ve got to deal with it early, don’t leave it until it’s too late.” (Anonymous)


It’s easy for someone who is not in your shoes and living with diabetes day-to-day to tell you to stay positive. But being positive isn’t always something you can just talk yourself into. Chances are you’ll go through a range of different feelings at different times.

You may hate the fact that you can’t be as spontaneous as your friends or eat the same things as them. Also dealing with people’s reactions to your diabetes can be upsetting as there is a stigma around diabetes and this can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. The best thing to do is focus on looking after you and maybe even educate people as much as possible. People often overreact or come to very wrong conclusions if they don't understand.

The fact is diabetes affects more than your body – one in every 3-4 young people with diabetes may experience problems of anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Sane Australia is an organisation that provides information, including great booklets and factsheets on different mental illnesses.

For more information on different mental illnesses visit the reachout.com.au website.

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Dealing with the Lows

You don’t have to be brave all the time – accept that you’ll have bad days. Focus on the things you can do when it comes to your diabetes, not on the things that you can’t. Surround yourself with trusted friends and people who care for you, support is out there in your community too.

If things get really bad, speak to your doctor or CDE – they will be able to help you work out if it is just a bad day or something like depression.

Medicare may provide a rebate on psychologist fees if you have chronic condition and are referred by your doctor. Discuss this with your doctor if you would like to seek counselling.

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