Diabetes in the UK
What are the symptoms of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition which causes your blood sugar levels to become too high: glucose remains in the blood rather than being used as fuel for energy.
Symptoms of Diabetes include:
1.Feeling very thirsty?
3.Unexpected weight loss?
5.Itching in the genital area or repeated episodes of thrush?
6.Excessive urination, particularly at night?
Diabetes can lead to complications such as cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, eye problems and foot damage, so prompt and effective treatment is vital.
Types of diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas which controls the amount of sugar in the blood. With Type 2 diabetes, either the body produces insufficient insulin or the cells do not react properly to insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 is more common: NHS statistics show that in the UK, 90% of people with diabetes suffer from type 2. Gestational diabetes is a condition that sometimes occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears after the birth.
People with Type 1 diabetes need to check their blood sugar levels regularly and have daily injections of insulin. A nutritious diet and exercise will make the condition easier to manage. In the early stages of Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes such as losing weight can help but as it is a progressive condition, medication may eventually be needed.
Food and lifestyle
People with diabetes should enjoy a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables: it is important to avoid too much sugar, fat and salt. Many patients find that carb counting can be helpful in managing their blood glucose levels. There‘s no need to avoid eating out – opt for boiled, steamed or grilled dishes rather than fatty fried foods and fill up with extra salad or vegetables. Even rich desserts need not be off the menu altogether: just watch portion sizes or ask for an extra spoon and share.
How to Support a friend or family member with diabetes
Living with diabetes is not easy and diabetics will need the help and support of their friends and family: they are likely to have to make important lifestyle changes and will need a sympathetic ear as well as practical support. When cooking for someone with diabetes, choose healthy foods that everyone can enjoy. Exercise is also important; having a companion for a regular walk, swim or cycle ride will make getting fit more enjoyable.
New research leads to a technological breakthrough
A recent study of 70 patients with Type 2 diabetes by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals (SWBH) NHS Trust is a major breakthrough. The team found that inserting a latex tube into the small intestine reduced the amount of food absorbed and led to a loss of body weight and lowered blood sugar levels. Patients felt positive and were more active, thus avoiding the need to take medication.
Are you concerned that you or someone you know has Diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-term condition that can cause serious problems or death if left untreated, so if you are worried that you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible.