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Update: Living with diabetes

In May 2012, nutritionist Zoe Wilson gave reader Ann Smith advice on how to manage her type 2 diabetes. We revisit Ann six months down the track.

Ann Smith volunteered to have a consultation with HFG nutritionist Zoe Wilson six months ago. The aim was to show Ann — and others with type 2 diabetes — how to make simple, valuable, changes to better manage the condition.

At their first meeting, Zoe and Ann went through Ann’s exercise and eating habits and set a few small goals for Ann to focus on until they met next time.

  • Ann has lost 5kg on the scales — that’s just over five per cent of her previous body weight. She now weighs 98kg and has a BMI of 36. She is also wearing clothes two sizes smaller.
  • By reducing her weight by five per cent Ann has drastically improved her blood glucose levels. She now has a long-term average blood glucose level, measured by the haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) assay, of 48mmol/mol and her fasting blood glucose is now at 5mmol/L. (A general target for fasting blood glucose is between 4-6mmol.) She’ll visit her endocrinologist in the next month to discuss the possibility of reducing her insulin.
  • Her total and LDL cholesterol levels have also come down.
  • Ann had knee surgery and has been recovering for the past four months. She is now able to walk but feels pain when she sits or lies down for too long.
  • Ann still isn’t sleeping well due to her sleep apnoea and pain from her surgery. She’s getting about six hours of broken sleep each night.

Zoe and Ann discussed the things that Ann would like to work on until their next session. The goals they set together were:

1. To include protein in her afternoon snack

For example: cheese and crackers, reduced-fat yoghurt and fruit, vege sticks and hummus or a slice of toast with no-added-salt-or-sugar peanut butter, ricotta or hummus. “This will help with the hunger Ann was feeling in the afternoon if she has only eaten a piece of fruit or her baked veges,” Zoe says.

2. To include intervals and hills in her daily walks a few times a week

While Ann is feeling fit at the moment, she wants to improve. Intervals (eg. alternating speed between power poles) and hills will help her to improve and provide some variety.

3. Keep up the good work!

Ann needs to continue with the changes she’s already made so they turn into lifelong habits!

Date modified: April 3 2017
First published: Nov 2012

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