Day 2 of the Australasian Diabetes Congress kicked off with a Plenary session covering communication in diabetes care. Even though she was only the understudy stepping in, I couldn’t think of a better person to cover this issue than Jane Speight of the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD). Much of the ACBRD’s research simply speaks to me, because they truly get how people with diabetes think and feel. Much of their awesome work is used to support policy and resource development over at Diabetes Australia.
Jane championed the ‘Language Matters’ movement, urging clinicians to enhance their communication skills when talking about and to people with diabetes to improve consultation outcomes. This video has been doing the rounds recently and it is absolutely amazing!
The theme of consumers carried onto the next speaker in this session, Elissa Renouf, wife and mother to four men with type 1 diabetes. It was so powerful hearing Elissa speak about doing everything she could to ensure that her three sons would grow up to live a healthy life. While she never deprived her boys of anything because of their diabetes, she did put a big focus on ensuring they performed the necessary diabetes management tasks before doing so.
After morning tea I attended the Australian Diabetes Research Foundation showcase, where I was able to hear about some of the outstanding research that had been funded. The awesome Kirstie Bell recounted her research into fat and protein bolusing, which you can read more about here.
Tammie Choi delivered an insightful presentation on her project ‘Not Scared of Sugar,’ a program which was designed to empower self care in a way that resonated with Chinese culture. We were told that Chinese culture preferred to hear from an authoritative figure when learning, and Tammie expressed that the Chinese did not respond well to an ambiguous answer!
Finally, Steve Trawley linked in by video to talk about his research into blood glucose testing prior to getting behind the wheel. The most interesting point highlighted was that Vic Roads does not endorse the use of blood glucose monitors or CGMs while a vehicle is in use. Bionic Wookiee David Burren and I both questioned the impact of not being able to know our blood glucose data while behind the wheel, and how the integration of smartphones with diabetes management might influence future regulations.
After lunch I had an extended wander through the exhibition hall, and I have been posting digests on both my Facebook and Instagram pages of what’s new in diabetes technology. Head on over for Cellnovo and Medtronic news!
The afternoon rounded out with a session on exercise and diabetes. While I proclaim to the world that Frank does not ‘do’ exercise, the reality is that physical activity is integral to my day job. The most valuable speaker in this session was Carmel Smart, providing some nutrition guidelines to minimise hypoglycaemia both during and after physical activity. It was interesting to hear how protein was recommended to replace glycogen stores following intense activity, and also as a way to prevent hypoglycaemia many hours after exercise.
I did wonder why the guidelines were so reliant on ingesting carbohydrate – and significantly large amounts – to avoid hypoglycemia. How would the person feel trying to exercise after ingesting all of those carbs? I know that many low carb people use ‘fat adaption’ to navigate physical activity, and I think this would be an interesting avenue for further research.
That’s day 2! I’m struggling to zip my suitcase shut for the journey home tomorrow evening, but not before another jam packed agenda for the final day of the Congress here in Adelaide!