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Let's Talk Diabetes - A podcast from Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

Join us as we explore the world of diabetes through our new podcast ‘Let’s Talk Diabetes’ – here you’ll hear first-hand from people living with diabetes, local healthcare professionals and members of the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland team.

Whether you or someone you know is living with diabetes, you’ll find lots of helpful information, resources and advice to support you and your loves ones. Make sure to also keep an ear our for our special guest’s top tips for people living with diabetes.

Find us on AppleSpotify, or you can stream for free on our hosting site Acast. Make sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Episode 1: Know Your Team

In this first episode our host Suzy is joined by Heather Bell, a GP in Carrickfergus, and Paul McMullan, a Consultant in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Both Heather and Paul took an interest in diabetes care early on in their career and now specialise in it.

Here we discuss what you'll start to experience when newly diagnosed and the healthcare professionals you will begin to work with along the way. 

Episode 2: Know Your Team Pt 2

Following on from our previous episode; 'Know Your Team', here Suzy chats to Sara Carse, an independent Diabetes Nurse Consultant working all over Northern Ireland, and Lesley Hamilton, who is a Diabetes Dietitian based in the Western Trust in the Altnagelvin Hospital. 

In this episode we chat about what to expect when you're newly diagnosed with diabetes, covering initial appointments, diet, education programmes and much more. 

Episode 3: Know Your Numbers

In the third episode we’re joined once more by Sara Carse, an independent Diabetes Nurse Consultant and Niall O’Kane, a GP Pharmacist from Maghera Medical Centre in Mid-Ulster. 

Suzy chats with Sara and Niall about the numbers involved with managing diabetes, breaking them down to discuss what they are used for and the meaning behind them. Our guests provide a focus on how to measure blood sugars; HbA1c and finger-prick testing, blood pressure and kidney tests. 

Episodes 4-6: Emotional Wellbeing and Resilience Series 

Taking place over three episodes, we’re joined by Mark Davies, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working in Belfast City Hospital, who is also involved in a number of ongoing research projects.

Here we explore emotional wellbeing and resilience when living with diabetes and how healthcare professionals can support people’s emotional wellbeing during their diabetes journey. 

Episode 7: A Year in Review!

With the year drawing to a close, our host Suzy is joined by other members of the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland team as we reflect on a very busy 2023 and look ahead to our plans for next year. 

Here you’ll also catch Suzy handing her hosting reins over to Sam from our team who will guide you through the next exciting segment of our podcast, featuring members of Our Lives Our Voices as they share their experiences as young people living with type 1 diabetes. Our Lives Our Voices is a youth project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which supports young people living with type 1 diabetes, aged 11-25. 

Episodes 8-10: Our Lives Our Voices takeover

In episode 8 we introduce Our Lives Our Voices and take a look at peer support, diabetes burnout and stigma faced by young people living with type 1 diabetes.

Hosted by Sam Cormack, Our Lives Our Voices Youth Co-ordinator, guests for this episode are Sian Dunwoody, Our Lives Our Voices Youth Worker and Aimee Stevenson, a Young Leader in the project.

In episode 9, Sam leads the conversations as we explore big life changes, ranging from moving home, studying, starting work and more. Sian makes a very welcomed return and is joined by Hollie who is a Young Leader within the Our Lives Our Voices Project.

In our final episode from Our Lives Our Voices, we chat to Young Leaders Lea and James about technology, travelling and managing diabetes when playing sports.

At the end of each episode, make sure to catch the top tips shared by our guests as they offer advice for young people living with type 1 diabetes. We’d like to say a big thank you to our Young Leaders for getting involved in our latest episodes and sharing their stories and advice.

Episode 11: Volunteering with Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

In this episode Suzy Hull, Healthcare Engagement Manager, is back in the hosting seat after the Our Lives Our Voices takeover - welcome back Suzy and thanks to Sam for hosting the past three episodes!

We're joined by Elaine Hanna, Diabetes Engagement Officer, and Fiona Harte, Engaging Communities & Volunteer Officer, who will be talking to Suzy about volunteering with Diabetes UK NI, some of the opportunities available, their highlights and the Live Well Champion role which is a new volunteering opportunity here in Northern Ireland.

Episodes 12-15: Women’s health series

We’re really excited to bring you our women’s health mini podcast series. This series is hosted by Suzy Hull, Healthcare Engagement Manager at Diabetes UK NI, who will be chatting with a mixture of healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes throughout these episodes.

In episode 12 we kick off with periods, puberty and contraception. We’re joined by Claire, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. Claire will be reflecting on her journey as a young lady going through these changes and then chatting about managing relationships and contraception while living with diabetes.

In episode 13, we’re exploring the world of pregnancy for women who have diabetes. We’re joined by healthcare professionals Deborah and Jaquie who are both diabetes midwives at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast, and Claire who has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 25 years and has had three pregnancies. Suzy chats with our guests about managing diabetes throughout pre-pregnancy planning, hormones during pregnancy and after you give birth.

Gestational diabetes is the topic of episode 14, here Suzy is joined by Sian who has first-hand experience of gestational diabetes, and Deborah and Jaquie join us for a second episode. They discuss gestational diabetes, the stigma surrounding it and follow-up checks following the pregnancy.

We’re rounding off our women’s health series with an episode about menopause. Here we’re joined by Dawn who lives with type 1 diabetes and Lisa, a specialist nurse with an interest in menopause. In this episode, we’ll be exploring perimenopause and menopause, the signs and symptoms, any differences faced by women who live with diabetes, and how menopause can impact your blood sugars and emotional wellbeing.

At the end of each episode, Suzy will ask each guest for their top tip or top piece of advice to share with women who are going through this stage in their lives while managing diabetes. Listen out for any that will help you on your journey.

If you are affected by any topics discussed, please do reach out to our helpline team on 0345 123 2399 for support.

The views and opinions of the guests are their personal or professional opinions and may not reflect the views or advice of Diabetes UK NI. The content in the podcast is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It's important you always speak with your healthcare team for specific medical advice.

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