Diabetes Education, Living with Diabetes, Sydney NSW
02 9480 9111
The University of Sydney Avondale College of Higher Education

Sydney Adventist Hospital
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Diabetes Education

Untreated diabetes can lead to a number of complications. Diabetes education aims to provide people with the skills to keep their blood sugars within normal range. Important areas for diabetes management include lifestyle improvements, foot care and blood sugar monitoring to prevent diabetes complications.

Sydney Adventist Hospital provides a Diabetes Education service that supports patients with diabetes and their families. This service is available to hospital patients only, including expectant mothers with Gestational Diabetes. Many people with diabetes will require a diagnostic or day surgery procedure at some stage in their lives. We provide some information you may need to know regarding your medications and what to expect if you ADEA Australian Diabetes Educators Associationhave diabetes and require day surgery.

Our Diabetes Educators are all credentialled with the Australian Diabetes Educators Association. Diabetes products and equipment can also be purchased at the San Pharmacy at competitive prices.

Contacts & Location 

Diabetes Education can be contacted by phoning 02 9487 9434.
We are open during office hours however our educators are often on the wards or seeing patients. Please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Alternative you can send an email to diabetes.educator@sah.org.au 

If you are coming in for an appointment prior to admission, the Diabetes Educators are located in our Outpatient Clinic on Level 3 of the Clifford Tower.  

Gestational Diabetes

Pregnancy is a time where there is a great deal of hormonal activity. These changes can interfere with the normal action of insulin, and result in diabetes developing during pregnancy. This is called Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and is commonly diagnosed in the second or third trimester, affecting 10-20% of women during pregnancy. 

Women who develop GDM are unable to make or release enough effective insulin to keep the blood glucose (sugar) level normal.

What are the symptoms?

It is possible to have GDM with no obvious symptoms – or for symptoms to be mistaken for normal changes during pregnancy. A blood test is the only way to confirm whether or not someone has developed GDM. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is generally performed in the 24th-28th week of pregnancy.

If you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes our Educators are able to advise you about appropriate management.

What can you do?

Although there is no evidence that GDM can be prevented, making healthy lifestyle choices during your pregnancy can only be beneficial.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is especially important during pregnancy.

  • Eat a healthy diet that is nutritionally complete during pregnancy including appropriate amounts of calcium, iron and folate contacting foods
  • Carbohydrates should be eaten at each meal. Try to choose carbohydrates with a low Glycaemic Index (GI). For more information see www.glycemicindex.com
  • Increase fibre, by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholegrain breads, cereals, pasta, nuts and legumes
  • Choose low fat options, particularly those low in saturated and tran-saturated fat
  • Make sure you are consuming enough fluid everyday – ideally 2 litres of water per day is recommended
  • Eat three meals per day with 1-2 snacks between meals as required.

Physical Activity
It can be difficult to make time for some physical activity every day when you are juggling work and family commitments, but the health benefits are worth the extra effort.

  • Aim for 30 to 40 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day. Moderate intensity is when you can comfortably talk or sing along to music.
  • Regular exercise like walking, swimming or bike riding helps to keep fit, and is beneficial in helping reduce insulin resistance.
  • Women who are most physically active have the lowest prevalence of gestational of gestational diabetes.
  • Aim to maintain your weight within your healthy weight range.
  • Always check with your doctor before starting or continuing physical activity.

The San Physiotherapy Department run Pregnancy Fitness Classes - safe, social and pregnancy-appropriate exercise. Get fit, have fun and meet other mothers-to-be. See our Physiotherapy section for more information on our pre-natal aqua, pilates and education classes.

How to assess your risk
You are at risk if you reply 'yes' to one or more of the points below:

  • I have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • I am over 30 years old
  • I am overweight
  • I have had gestational diabetes before, or I have given birth to at least one baby weighting more than 4.5kg
  • I have Aboriginal, Maori, Asian, Torres Strait or Pacific Islander background
  • I have been told that I have insulin resistance or pre-diabetes

Other Information and Resources Available

Diabetes AustraliaDiabetes Australia is the national peak body for diabetes in Australia providing a single, powerful, collective voice for people living with diabetes, their families and carers. Diabetes Australia works in partnership with diabetes health professionals and educators, researchers and health care providers to minimise the impact of diabetes on the Australian community. Diabetes Australia is committed to turning diabetes around through awareness, prevention, detection, management and a cure.


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