How can I prevent a hypo

Prevention is the key to dealing with hypoglycaemia. To keep your blood sugar from falling too low, eat your meals at around the same times each day - never skip meals. Recognise that hunger may be a sign that your blood sugar level is too low, and that you need to take steps to bring it back up to within a normal range. Also, make sure you take your medication as directed, in the correct dosage and at the proper times. Be vigilant about monitoring your blood sugar levels. In this way you will...

How does diabetes affect your kidneys

One-third of people with type 1 diabetes and 10-20 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes develop kidney disease after living with diabetes for 15 years or more. To understand how this complication develops, you need to know a little bit about the structure and function of the kidneys. The kidneys maintain the body's internal environment by controlling its fluid and electrolyte levels, and by removing its waste products. Each kidney contains approximately one million microscopic units called...

Longterm complications

The possibility ofdeveloping long-term complications is one ofthe most frightening aspects of diabetes. Prolonged periods of high blood sugar increase the risk of complications in people with diabetes. Common ailments include cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis), eye disorders, kidney disease, nerve disorders, and foot and leg problems. Most of these conditions result from years of chronic high blood sugar levels. The good news is that many ofthe possible...

The diabetes care team

Whether an individual with diabetes is cared for principally by a general practice team or by a hospital diabetes specialist team, it is now widely recognised that care is best provided by groups of health-care professionals with their own particular skills, working closely together. The teams include a consultant physician, diabetes specialist nurse, dietitian, chiropodist, general practitioner and practice nurse. They can also call upon the skills of a psychologist, ophthalmologist,...

Type Niddm Noninsulindependent diabetes mellitus

Type 2 diabetes, also sometimes known as age-related or maturity onset diabetes, is more common in middle or later life and can be controlled by tablets or just by dietary modification. As the supply of insulin is reduced or is not quite as effective as normal, the blood glucose level rises more slowly. There is less protein and fat breakdown so ketones are produced in much smaller quantities and the risk of a ketoacidotic coma is low. Passing large amounts of urine, especially at night....

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...