Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
- type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
- type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.
During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.
Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.
This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
When to see a doctor
Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:
- feeling very thirsty
- peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- feeling very tired
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.
Diabetic Eye Screening
Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year.
If you have diabetes, your eyes are at risk from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it’s not treated.
Screening, which involves a 30-minute check to examine the back of the eyes, is a way of detecting the condition early so it can be treated more effectively. For more information about Diabetic Eye Screening please follow the link below.
Diabetic Annual Reviews
The Arch Medical Practice has an extensive Diabetic annual review programme which includes an initial review with our Practice Nurses on or around your date of birth. At this review the nurse will:
- Take your height and weight (to check if you are under or overweight)
- Take your blood pressure
- Review your blood glucose control
- Review your HbA1c and cholesterol levels
- Discuss any issues you have with your diabetes or health in general
- Advise any change in regimen, lifestyle or medication – including any side effects
- Diabetic foot examination
- Urine ACR sample
- Advice to attend annual eye screening if not already done so
After this annual review has taken place and we have received the laboratory results of the blood and urine test they will be passed to our Clinical Diabetic lead, Sister Louise Boulton.
If you have any questions we would always recommenced to visit the NHS Diabetes site or Diabetes UK, links provided below.
The Arch Medical Practice