World Diabetes Day

Although World Diabetes Day was 14th November 2019, why not make every day a Diabetes Awareness Day?

Shelly Beach Hospital provided free testing and counselling at Shelly Beach to create awareness during November 2019.  We bring you this short article in order to assist with such awareness, early warning signs and recommends you to seek medical advice at an early stage.

Did you know?

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of amputation, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and even early death.  Diabetes was responsible for 4 million deaths in 2017!

What is Diabetes?

It occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) is high.

Blood glucose is our main source of energy and we get this from the foods we eat.

A hormone known as Insulin helps in regulating the blood glucose levels by getting the blood sugar into our cells for energy production.

When the body doesn’t make any or enough insulin resulting in high glucose levels, this is when you have the disease known as Diabetes.

What are the different types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes

This is when your body DOESN’T make insulin. It can occur at any age but generally, it is diagnosed in children and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes

This is when your body [liver, muscle and fatty tissue] shows a decrease response to insulin and/or the pancreas produces insufficient amounts of insulin. It can also occur at any age however generally, it is diagnosed in middle aged and older people.  This is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

This occurs in pregnant women and in most cases the diabetes goes away once the baby is born.  There is a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes later on and in some instances, it is diagnosed during the pregnancy.

Who is more likely to get diabetes type 2?

  • Age 45 years or older
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Certain health problems such as high blood pressure

Early Warning signs and symptoms

  • Frequent Urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive fatique
  • Weight gain
  • Slow healing
  • Excess sleep
  • Blurred vision

How can you try and prevent diabetes?

  • Do more physical activity and lose extra weight
  • Eat plenty of fibre such as fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts
  • Try and eat whole grains (e.g. pasta, cereals and breads) it may reduce the risk of diabetes and help maintain blood glucose levels

What treatment is available for diabetes?

Treatment for diabetes is a holistic approach of addressing:

  • diet
  • physical activity/weight loss   and
  • medication

A medical doctor will assist with a treatment plan that is correct for the individual.

If type 1 diabetes is diagnosed – insulin is prescribed which is available in the form of an injection. The time that the insulin must be administered is dependent on an individual’s activity, diet and blood glucose levels.

If type 2 diabetes is diagnosed – oral medication is available and the different types of medication work in different ways.

For example:

The medication called Metformin decreases glucose (sugar) production by the liver and improves insulin resistance whereas the medication called Glimepiride increases insulin production.

What is hypoglycaemia and why is it important to know the warning signs?

Hypoglycaemia is a SERIOUS complication of diabetes.

It occurs when the blood glucose levels are TOO LOW.  This can cause cognitive impairment (trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating and everyday activities).  In severe cases it can lead to seizures, coma and even death.

The symptoms

  • Hunger
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating

Diabetes is a serious medical condition however, a lot can be done to reduce the impact and seeking medical advice at an early stage.   



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