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Control your diabetes, don’t let your diabetes control you!

Control your diabetes, don’t let your diabetes control you!

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National Diabetes week 12th – 18th June 2016

A Blackburn with Darwen GP has urged people with diabetes to manage their condition positively byeating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Dr John Randall, Executive GP and Clinical Lead for Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said it was important that they attended a diabetes session so they understood how to live with the condition and prevent damage to their bodies.

Diabetes is a condition that can affect anybody at any age. All our bodies need fuel to work.  Sugar from the foods we eat is taken into the bloodstream to power the rest of the body. Our bodies have their own way of controlling exactly how much sugar to use. Too much sugar can be very harmful to our bodies and over time can cause permanent damage.   This is known as diabetes.

If you’re concerned you may have diabetes, the usual symptoms involve:

  • Feeling really thirsty very often for no reason;
  • Very frequent passing of urine (i.e. peeing a lot) for no reason;
  • Feeling very tired with no energy frequently;
  • Unexplained weight loss.

If your GP has told you in the past year that you have diabetes, you should have received an invitation to attend a special diabetes session which will tell you everything you need to know about how to look after yourself. The sessions are held by nurses that have expert knowledge in diabetes care.

If you’ve had diabetes for a while (whether type 1 or type 2) and have never attended one of the sessions, please get in touch with your GP surgery and let them know. It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

Managed effectively, people with diabetes will notice little difference to their daily lives. They will make adjustments where necessary to their food, lifestyle and medication (where needed) based on the knowledge they received from the diabetes sessions.

Poorly managed diabetes can lead to can lead to blindness, loss of a foot, stroke or kidney disease. It’s really important that if you have diabetes, you attend a diabetes sessions. The more you know about how to manage the condition, the healthier you will stay.  Ignoring the condition won’t make it go away, it will only increase the chances of poor health in future years.

Dr John Randall, Executive GP and Clinical Lead for Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “For people diagnosed with diabetes, the 3 biggest positive impacts individuals living with diabetes can have is to ensure they eat a healthy diet; take regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

“It’s also really important that they attend a diabetes session so they know how to adjust their lives to live with the condition and prevent damage to their bodies. Ideally this will be early after diagnosis, but even attending a session years later will still be beneficial.

“The earlier we can identify somebody has diabetes the better chance we have of helping patients minimise the condition.  If you’re invited for a Health Check from your GP practice, make sure you turn up to the appointment.”

The CCG is looking at re-designing the diabetes service with the aim of reducing inequalities of care and bringing care closer to home. As part of the re-design work, we want to ask patients about the care they receive in general practice.

If you are a diabetes patient with a GP in Blackburn with Darwen, and you would like to share your experience of care, you can either pick up a questionnaire in your GP surgery, download and print one here, or you can request one to be sent to you. Alternatively, this can be completed by telephone on 01254 282825 / 01282 644683.

For more information about diabetes please contact your GP surgery or visit the Diabetes UK website at www.diabetes.org.uk