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Community dietitian helps Isabel reduce her blood sugar levels and achieve her goals

The following blog is written by Peninsula Health dietitian Thea Moloney.  

The Community Rehabilitation Program is a multidisciplinary service which helps people manage or recover from illness, injury or surgery.

It is a short term program that helps people to achieve their individual goals.

Isabel* was initially referred into our program due to carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms, and was seen regularly by our Occupational Therapist, Social Worker and Physiotherapist. She was then referred to Dietetics to optimise blood glucose control for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Isabel is a very busy lady; she works night shifts and cares for her husband who suffered a major stroke in 2016. Her husband requires assistance with meals and personal care, and Isabel takes him regularly to an exercise group to help improve his function. 

Isabel’s role as a wife, carer and employee understandably has its stressors, and with limited time in her day, her meal patterns and convenience food choices meant her blood glucose levels were starting to rise too high.  Her doctor had advised that if her blood sugar levels remained high, she would need to start taking diabetes medication.

“I really needed the information from everyone, and then to set goals. What I had were choice, and then determination,” said Isabel.

With this attitude and drive, Isabel made consistent and healthy changes to her diet, without compromising flavour or enjoyment of food. Her dietetics sessions were focused on problem solving and creating achievable goals.

The Community Rehabilitation Program follows a ‘health at any size’ approach, which promotes treating the body and mind with respect and avoids focusing on weight loss as a health measure. The ‘dieting and weight loss cycle’ can reduce body confidence and damage self esteem.  Through making meaningful nutritional changes to the diet, moving the body more and managing stress, our health and wellbeing can be managed for a lifetime.

Isabel started choosing vegetables as snacks, eating regular meals and drinking more water and herbal tea. She began walking around her block most days, and managed her stress by using her support network. At her next doctor’s review, she was told the news that her blood sugar levels were now ‘normal’.

Isabel is now very happy.

“It took time and I know that even though I don’t need medication for my diabetes now, I need to keep going, going, going!” Isabelle says.

*Name changed.