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The importance of being in control of your diabetes

06 November 2018

Diabetes, the word is often mentioned, but do we actually know what the disease is and how it can affect us? If the answer is no, please do read on and if the answer is yes, you may learn something new!

Diabetes is caused by too much glucose, more commonly known as sugar, in an individual’s blood. Although we all need some glucose to keep our energy levels up, high levels can have dangerous effects. When we eat or drink our bodies break down the carbohydrates, which results in glucose being released into our blood. A hormone important to us is insulin, made by our pancreas, as it allows the glucose in our blood to fuel our bodies. There is a system by which your pancreas senses when glucose has entered your bloodstream and releases the correct amount of insulin, allowing glucose to enter your cells. However, if you have diabetes this system doesn’t function properly, causing glucose to build in the blood.

Type one diabetes

Unable to produce any insulin

Type two diabetes

Insulin can’t work effectively

High blood sugar levels can seriously damage your eyes, kidneys, heart and feet so it’s hugely important to get a hold on things. Keeping blood pressure, blood fats and blood sugar levels under control will help enormously in reducing your risk of developing complications. Diabetes can be serious  but complications are not inevitable and can all be prevented  with good care. 

Early signs of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination or urine infections
  • Increased thirst and regular dry mouth
  • Increased hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss (even when you are eating and feeling hungry)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • But many people don’t have these symptoms and you can have diabetes but not know it

I suffer with diabetes, what can I do to prevent or delay complications?

As with everything, it’s important to have a healthy balanced diet to ensure you’re not consuming overly high levels of sugar. Try to maintain a normal body-weight. A good diet, paired with keeping active, will help you feel better in yourself and is great for your overall health and well-being. Stopping smoking again is a good health tip in general, but especially if you have diabetes as smoking makes it even harder for blood to flow around your body.

Could I have Diabetes?

This can be easily tested with a simple blood test.

Dr Colin Johnson, Consultant Endocrinologist, states “We now know that getting good control of your diabetes early will make a huge difference in keeping you fit and active. If you think you might have Diabetes or Diabetes is in the family get tested. If you have Diabetes make sure that your sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol are well controlled. There are a lot of new treatments that can really make a difference.”

If you’re worried about your diabetes, or you believe you’re undiagnosed, come to Spire Harpenden Hospital to calm your nerves and get the advice and support that can help you continue to lead a life you love. To book in today please call: 01582 714 420

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