The way to kickstart your day

Eating breakfast could help improve Paki Whiu’s diabetes.

Paki Whiu having a check-up with Kirsten Hatton (centre) and Marilyn Herbert-Spain (left).

That’s the advice he receives from community diabetes nurse specialist Kirsten Hatton at one of her monthly diabetes clinics at Woodend Medical Centre.

Kirsten says Paki’s diet is generally good but he needs to eat breakfast to improve his blood sugar levels.

‘That first meal of the day is so important in kickstarting your pancreas and getting your metabolism going.’

Paki’s blood sugar levels are at a point where his kidneys and eyes are at risk of being damaged and his pancreas could be starting to wear out.

Kirsten explains to Paki why it is important to stop adding sugar to his coffee.

She also advises him, after consultation with his GP, to increase the amount of diabetes medication he takes in the morning, and how and when to use a blood sugar testing machine at home.

As for his love of chocolate − Kirsten says Paki can occasionally treat himself to 2 or 3 small pieces but he should consider cutting down his other treats of burgers, pies and sausage rolls.

Kirsten also suggests he consider drinking diet fizzy drink instead of the sugary options.

Paki admits his diet has deteriorated a bit in the last 12 months but says a visit to the community-based diabetes clinic, that Kirsten leads at the general practice, should help put him back on track.  He leaves the clinic with some helpful advice, words of encouragement and a reminder to see Kirsten in a month.

This story is part of Canterbury finds better ways to care for diabetes patients.

Read the next story in this series: Starting insulin a big milestone.

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