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Keep track with your diabetes annual cycle of care


Living with diabetes may lead to health problems known as diabetes-related complications. This is because high blood glucose levels can affect the blood vessels in your eyes or kidneys and the nerves and blood supply in your feet. High blood glucose levels can also increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. But it is not only your blood glucose level. Your age, family history, lifestyle choices around food, alcohol, physical activity, smoking, stress, and other medical illnesses can also impact on your health. Regular health checks can help find diabetes-related complicationsearly when your chances for treatment are better. Find out how to reduce your risk. 

The Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care (DACC) is a way for you, and your team of diabetes health professionals, to keep your diabetes management on track and help to reduce the risk of health problems in the future. It is a list of recommended health checks, who can do them for you and how often.  

Making time for your DACC lets you be involved in decisions about managing your diabetes by working in partnership with your diabetes health professionals. Their role is to: 

  • keep you updated on the best ways to look after your diabetes 
  • check how you are going 
  • support you through the challenging times 
  • acknowledge your achievements 
  • and help you to problem solve. 

Gorgio talks about the time he went to see his doctor about his diabetes annual cycle of care results. “Even though I was feeling well, I had stopped checking my blood glucose level. I was still taking my tablets though. My partner was on my back about what I was eating at night. My doctor told me my HbA1c was 7.9%, which was above my target of 7.0% and higher than my last one of 7.1%. The good news was my eyes, feet and kidney checks were all OK. I left the appointment with a referral to see the diabetes educator about monitoring my blood glucose and the dietitian for some advice about healthy snacks”. 

You may see some of your diabetes health professionals more often, like your doctor or pharmacist. Others you may see for regular checks such as the podiatrist for your feet or optometrist for your eyes. Your doctor may refer you to others for more support to help you manage your diabetes. This can be the diabetes educator, dietitian, exercise physiologist or mental health worker. To make these visits more affordable, your doctor can give you a Chronic Disease Management Plan and Team Care Arrangement. This gives you five (5) visits a year with a health professional covered by Medicare.  

Gorgio started monitoring his blood glucose levels and was finding they were in target when he ate the snacks the dietitian suggested. But he was still finding this a challenge, his doctor referred him to a psychologist. He was able to use the remaining three Medicare visits.  

Let us explore what is on the DACC list. Most of the checks are once a year such as an eye check, a foot check, a hearing check, and a regular dental check, even if you wear dentures. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure every visit. Also included are blood and or urine tests to check your HbA1c, cholesterol and kidney function. Make a time with your doctor to time to discuss your results and any health concerns you have with your doctor. This may be about your food or physical activity choices, a check of the medication you are taking, and how you are going. 

Some tips for your DACC 

  1. Make a date to talk to your doctor and plan your DACC checks. To help you remember to do this every year, put it in your calendar or link it to a key date, such as your diabetes anniversary. 
  2. Plan for and attend all DACC health checks and pathology tests and keep records of the results to compare.
  3. When all your checks and pathology tests are done, take the time to talk to your doctor about your results. Also discuss if you need to be referred to see other health professionals in your diabetes team.
  4. And lastly, here are some suggestions you can do to stay healthy and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications:
    • Balancing your blood glucose levels is a great start to keeping healthy. Keeping your blood glucose levels within your target range reduces your risk of diabetes-related complications.  
    • Keep learning about diabetes to find out the best ways for you to keep your blood glucose levels within your target range. 
    • Plan for and attend all DACC health checks and pathology tests. This helps to find possible problems early when your chances for treatment are better.  
    • Check your feet every day for changes. Keep a check on the condition of your feet and make sure you get treatment for any changes to your feet. A great place to start is by visiting the FootForward website. It has some great videos and how-to-guides on how to look after your feet. Take 2-minutes to check how healthy your feet are! 

By having your DACC checks each year, you will put yourself in the best position to reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications and take an important step that will help you live a healthier life. 

Annual cycle of care podcast series

Listen to our Annual cycle of care podcast series to learn more about what it is, why it’s important, and what you need to know about it.

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Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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