If your body does not make any hormone called insulin or does not make enough of this, your body cannot convert blood sugar (called glucose) into fuel for your body’s cells. This condition is Diabetes Mellitus, and it is a growing problem with more than 2 million people in the UK having this condition.
There are 2 types of Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 Diabetes, the body is unable to produce any insulin. It usually starts in childhood or young adulthood, and is treated with diet control and insulin injections. Type 2 Diabetes is when not enough insulin is produced by the pancreas gland, or the insulin that is made by the body does not work properly. It tends to affect people as they get older and usually appears after the age of 40, and often occurs in overweight people.
Common symptoms of Diabetes include:
- Frequent urination (polyuria)
- Increased thirst and fluid intake (polydipsia)
- Increased appetite (polyphagia)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sudden vision changes
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Feeling very tired much of the time
- Very dry skin
- Sores that are slow to heal
- More infections than usual
If you have any of these symptoms you should book and appointment with a GP on 01875 610248. If you have confirmed Diabetes, you will be invited by letter for a review by the trained Practice Nurse. At this check, the Practice Nurse will:
- Discuss your symptoms and the impact your symptoms are having on you
- Review your medications, and any side effects that have
- Check your weight, height and blood pressure
- Take blood samples to check your kidney function, blood count, cholesterol level, HbA1C, thyroid function, liver function and sugar level. Your HbA1C is a measure of how well controlled your Diabetes is.
- Check your urine for protein, so please bring a fresh urine specimen to your appointment. Please note that white-capped urine bottles are available for Reception.
- Discuss your diet, lifestyle and alcohol intake
- Check your feet and circulation
- Provide help with stopping smoking if applicable
- Offer you the annual Flu vaccine
Research shows that the better your Diabetes is controlled, the less likely you are to develop complication of Diabetes, such as kidney problems, nerve problems, blindness, foot ulcers, and heart disease. Attending for regular check-ups is therefore a very important part of your Diabetic care. If you have any questions about Diabetes, please contact the Practice.