What is it
Diabetes is a life-long condition caused when the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly.
Insulin is the hormone produced by the body to convert glucose into energy. In diabetes there is not enough insulin or it does not work properly leaving high levels of glucose in the blood. If left untreated it can lead to serious health complications.
Types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 is caused where the body does not produce insulin and
- Affects about 10% of people with diabetes
- Usually affects children and young adults
- Is not preventable and has no known cause
- Is not related to being overweight
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 is caused where the body does not make enough insulin or it does not function properly
- Affects about 90% of people with diabetes
- Usually affect adults
- There is a gradual development of symptoms
- Likelihood of developing is influenced by family history, age, ethnic background
- Being overweight is a risk factor
For more information on types of Diabetes, visit:
Pre-diabetes is a diagnosis given when your blood tests shows a little bit too much glucose in your blood but not enough to diagnose you with diabetes.
If you’re diagnosed with pre-diabetes, making some significant changes to your diet and lifestyle can prevent you from developing diabetes.
The National Diabetes Prevention Programme is a nine month course specifically designed to help you reduce your risk developing Type 2 diabetes. To discuss enrolment, get in touch with a health care professional.
To learn more, download National Diabetes Prevention Programme guide.
Diet and Lifestyle
When managing your diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Here are some ideas to get you started.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to start exercising, perhaps start with regular walks with people from your community.
- Walking for Health https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/
- The Carshalton Diabetes UK Group http://www.diabetesukcarshalton.org.uk/ provides local support, companionship, and education for both adults and children with diabetes and their carers. They raise funds for local use and host regular events and meetings.
- Sutton Livewell https://www.live-well.org.uk/sutton.aspx provide support with weight management, helping you to stop smoking and access to local activities, such as gardening or cycling.
- Fixing Dad http://www.fixingdad.com/
- The Shotifeld Medical Practice Patient Participation Group (PPG) has a useful Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ShotfieldPPG/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf, hosts events and is always looking for volunteers to help with their projects and offer new ideas.
- DESMOND delivers a course for newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes or those seeking on-going support. It provides and support diabetes. If you have never been on the course please let us know.
- For courses to help in Type 1 diabetes, please speak to your diabetes nurse.
- If you have a smartphone, the Carbs & Cal app http://www.carbsandcals.com/app/app has specific diabetes applications to help you monitor what you’re eating.
Medication doesn’t just mean insulin.
Often in the early stages, diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise alone.
Depending on the type of diabetes you have and the severity of your condition, medication can come in the form of tablets or injections.
To explore the various types of treatments and when they can be used, visit Diabetes.org.uk https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Diabetes-the-basics/Diabetes-treatments/
Sometimes managing long term conditions can be an emotional as well as physical challenge. If you find yourself feeling this way, please remember that you’re not alone.
If you’re having emotional difficulties, feeling low, stressed or anxious, please book an appointment with your diabetes nurse, doctor, or physician associate. They will be more than willing to discuss your situation with you.
There’s a lot of information and advice out there but maybe you don’t feel it caters to you.
If you are 14 years old or over, you may find these podcasts (http://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/our-services/our-hospitals/jennylind/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/diabetes/young-people-with-diabetes/) useful, they discuss a range of issues and challenges young people sometimes face.
Shotfield Medical Practice leaflet to aid understanding or treatment options for Type 2 Diabetics