Social support

Social support is an important component of successful diabetes management. Many studies have found that individuals with higher levels of social support tend to do better, for example, in weight management programmes or keeping to their diabetes treatments. Social support may involve your family in the treatment programme, you may be required to participate in a community-based programme, or be involved in some outside social activity. Friends and family support may be particularly useful...

How does diabetes affect your nerves

Diabetes can affect your nerves in two ways as with the eyes and kidneys, the blood supply may be affected, or there can be direct damage to the nerves as a result of high blood glucose. Any kind of nerve damage is known medically as neuropathy. The consequences will depend on which ofthe three types of nerve is affected. Motor nerves These carry messages to the muscles from the brain stimulating them to contract. Damage to this type of nerve is known as motor neuropathy and can lead to a loss...

Type IDDM Insulindependent diabetes mellitus

This type starts most commonly in younger people who have to have regular injections of insulin to remain well. As the person is not producing any insulin, the symptoms can come on very rapidly as blood glucose control is lost. Insulin has a very important role in maintaining stability in the body by preventing breakdown of proteins found in muscle and fats. When insulin fails, the by-products of the breakdown of fat and muscle build up in the blood and lead to the production of substances...

What is diabetes

Diabetes is a permanent change in your internal chemistry, which results in your blood containing too much glucose. The cause is a deficiency of the hormone 'insulin'. I just started feeling lousy, losing weight, always thirsty - it seemed like I could never get enough to drink. And there I was - diabetic I thought my life was ruined. And then I said 'No, dammit, this is the way I am now and I'd better learn to live with it, 'cos all of those feelings, the anger, the frustration aren't going to...

Emotional response to stress

What people didn't see, and what I couldn't admit to, was the anxiety I felt if my blood glucose was the smallest amount above normal, and the desperation, the real stress I would feel until it had reduced.' Your emotional response to stress may not be as visible as your physical response. You may start worrying and fear the next 'event'. Your attention span may be reduced, and you may be less able to concentrate on the task at hand. You may have trouble learning something new. You may be...