26 Feb Diabetes
Diabetes is a common and lifelong condition that affects the everyday life of the 7 million people who live with it. Type 2 diabetes is found in 90% of diabetic adults in the UK, with the other 10% having Type 1 or Gestational Diabetes (affected by pregnancy).
Type 2 Diabetes happens when the level of sugar in the blood becomes too high and the hormone called insulin can’t control these levels. When this happens, insulin can’t move all the glucose into the cells for energy and will remove the excess in the urine.
One of the tell-tale symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes is the need to pee all the time. Along with constant thirst, being uncommonly tired, unhealed wounds, unexplained weight loss and blurred vision.
Type 2 Diabetes is caused by a few factors. If someone is over the age of 40, they run the risk of developing the condition. Or, if some close relative lives with the condition, it is also likely to occur.
Being overweight or inactive is also a risk, so adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can decrease this. Ethnicity is also a factor, particularly those from a south Asian, African or Caribbean background.
When a patient is first diagnosed, they will be advised to make lifestyle choices that will control their blood glucose levels, but often this is not long term. Eventually, medicine may be prescribed to them either in tablet or injection form.
Living with diabetes means taking extreme care in all aspects of life and if not given, serious conditions can occur. Untreated diabetes damages blood vessels, nerves and organs which leads to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction and miscarriage or stillbirth.
Poor bad blood circulation in the feet is associated with diabetes and diabetics should review and wash their feet daily. Checking for numbness, ulcers, unhealed cuts or swelling will avoid the risk of gangrene that unfortunately leads to amputation. Therefore, all diabetics should have their feet examined once a year by their doctor.
Living with diabetes means being well educated for the day to day handling of the condition. This can be provided by healthcare staff, charities or other patients.
Early diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes is crucial to preventing serious conditions from occurring.
Patients who visit the doctor for treatment will avail of the full spectrum, from risk assessment, to diagnosis and monitoring.
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