WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a condition that is related to the body’s inability to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Glucose is the key form of sugar in the body. The body breaks down food into glucose and uses it as a source of energy. Those who are healthy have insulin to help them regulate the glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas (which is a long, thin organ located behind the stomach against the back).
Insulin, in the body, breaks down food into glucose (sugar) and uses it as a source of energy. It helps the cells in the body to use glucose for energy and store the excess in the liver, for later use.
Those who have Diabetes, their body does not produce enough insulin or does not use the produced insulin effectively. This causes a high level of glucose in the blood known as Hyperglycaemia.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms usually depend on the type and duration of Diabetes.
Some signs and symptoms are related to high blood sugar levels, this includes:
Increased thirst levels
Urinary and vaginal infections
Skin infections, especially fungal or some serious bacterial infections
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DIABETES?
Type 1 Diabetes
Little or no insulin is produced in the body, and the person will need regular injections of insulin for survival and management of T1D. This usually starts in childhood but can occur at any age.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common form, and it is strongly related with genetic tendency and obesity. The body produces normal or high levels of insulin, but certain factors make its use ineffective. This usually starts in adulthood but is beginning to be seen in obese adolescents also.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS?
These are the possible long-term complications that may occur with Diabetes:
Nerves and the brain:
Heart and Vascular
Eyes and Vision
Memory effects i.e Dementia.
Foot nerves are effected i.e loss of sensation and amputation.
Heart disease i.e Angina.
High blood pressure.
Expansion of heart.
Optic nerves are effected.
Nephropathy is a general for the deterioration of proper functioning in the Kidneys.
In our Diabetes Self-Help Group, we focus on ways to self-manage when you are diabetic for health and well-being. Examples include
Exercise (house chores)
Diet (food intake)
Checking blood sugar levels
It is important to exercise daily, especially if you are diabetic. You should focus on light workouts.
Light sport activities and walking is beneficial. So, you should aim to walk at least once a day for half an hour. If you are doing sport activities, make sure you stay hydrated and you do not injure yourself.
This Improves blood sugar control, decreasing the risk of diabetes and maintaining good health and weight management.
It is also important to be moving around in the house so, cleaning and doing house chores can be a good exercise.
When you are cleaning, the aim is to reduce fat around the pancreas (lower stomach area). So, we encourage to do movements which focus in that area. For example, when cleaning the window, focus on moving your arms 180 degrees, rather then small movements.
Your food intake is important as a diabetic.
Ensure you have a small portion of meals through out the day.
Focus on including healthy types of food such as: vegetables, salads etc. rather then heavy caloric foods such as: pizza, burgers and take away etc.
It is important to check your feet daily, keeping them clean and soft.
Make sure you are wearing well-fitting breathable shoes and socks.
If you have any changes you observe to your health care professional.
Your health care provider will determine your personal blood sugar goals.
You should make sure to follow instructions and times of day because this can help blood sugar patterns, which may need to be corrected.
Always check your blood sugar if you feel symptoms of high blood sugar (thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision) or low blood sugar (dizzy, confusion, sweating, shaking or pounding heartbeat). You must contact your doctor too.
If you are sick, check your blood sugar more often because an infection can make blood sugar rise. Make sure you stay hydrated.
It is also important to continue taking medications when are you are unwell.
DIABETES IN LEICESTER
According to the Leicester city council website, ‘’diabetes is a national health priority and is of particular importance in Leicester,’’.
They further added, ‘’ Based on GP register data, Leicester has a higher prevalence of diabetes in its adult population (over 17+ years) – 8.9% compared to 6.4% nationally, with 93% of people with diabetes having T2D. It is estimated that every year there are approximately 1,000 new cases of diabetes in Leicester City. Diabetes prevalence in Leicester is more common in older ages where around 1 in 4 people aged over 65 has diabetes, with the rate in the Asian population almost four times as high as in the white population’’
DIABETES IN THE UK
According to www.diabetes.org.uk , the prevalence refers to the number of people currently diagnosed with diabetes. There are almost 3.7 million people, who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the United Kingdom.
They have also provided key facts:
ccording to WHO (world health organisation)
The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014.
Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.
Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age
The sole purpose of this website is to provide information about the awareness of Diabetes. This information relates to the Diabetes Self-Help Group, it is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious health concerns, please contact a trained health professional.