World Diabetes Awareness

All persons with diabetes suffer hyperglycaemia i.e. high levels of dissolved sugar(s) in the blood.  If left untreated, persistent hyperglycaemia can permanently damage the internal lining of blood vessels.  This injury limits the continuous delivery of blood containing nutrients and oxygen to vital organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, genitals and eyes.  Some long-term complications i.e. after 12-15years that can occur in diabetic patients with poorly controlled blood sugar levels include stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction and blindness.  While premature sudden death may also occur, this is a final outcome.  However these other conditions limit the patient’s independence and ability to earn a living and provide for him/herself and his/her family.  This morbidity represents a high burden of disease, i.e. financial and societal impact, which is why diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NDC) are high priority topics in national and international preventative health and health promotion activities.

 

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES

 

TYPES OF DIABETES

NAME AGE OF ONSET CAUSE MANAGEMENT
TYPE I Presents in childhood or  adolescence Pancreas gland is damaged from birth or attacked by the body’s own immune system and fails to function early on in life Insulin injections
TYPE II Adult, over 30yrs old Family history of diabetes and/or poor lifestyle habits e.g. physical inactivity, poor diet, excessive alcohol intake Lifestyle modification and  medication e.g. tablets initially then insulin and other injectable agents
GESTATIONAL DIABETES Occurs during pregnancy and usually resolves after baby is delivered Temporary hyperglycaemia i.e. raised blood sugar levels Lifestyle modification primarily; Medication in some cases

 

 

DIABETES MANAGEMENT

These are some tips and techniques that can be adopted for the successful management of Diabetes:

EDUCATION ·Counseling from a reliable source will raise awareness and impart knowledge to the patient, caretakers and household/family members

·Numerous health care workers especially nurses, diabetic educators as well as traditional media i.e. leaflets and new media i.e. digital tools are used

NUTRITION · Educating patients, caretakers and household/family members about food as fuel for the body will enable a motivated patient, within a supportive environment, to make sustained, wise food choices

· Recommendations should complement the palate, cultural diversity and financial status of the patient

EXERCISE

 

Physical exercise uses up some of the extra sugar in the body and patients can benefit from a regular i.e. daily regimen that includes

·cardiovascular conditioning e.g. cycling, jogging, skipping, fast-paced walking

· strength training e.g. free weights, resistance bands

MEDICATION Information about different medication e.g. name, dose, side effects, timing and method of administration must be repeatedly communicated to patients as well as their caretakers and household/family members
STRESS   MANAGEMENT

 

·Prayer/Meditation/Yoga/Deep breathing/ Massage

·Reading/Journaling

·Creative expression e.g. art, dance, music

· Social engagements/Group recreation

·Spending time in nature

·Time outs/Work breaks/Holidays

·Strategic removal of toxic factors

SLEEP HYGIENE ·Adults require 6-8hr of uninterrupted sleep every 24hrs

·Set and maintain a fixed bedtime and wake time

·Switch off all devices 60mins before bedtime

 

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR HEALTH AS A DIABETIC

A HbA1C Blood test performed every three (3) months.  Healthy range 6-8%.
B Blood pressure Systolic: 110-135mmHg.  Diastolic: 60-85mmHg.
C Cholesterol Total <200mg/dL; LDL <100mg/dL
D Drugs Know the names, doses and scheduling times of your prescription medication, supplements and over the counter (OTC) medication
E Exercise Move your body for 30mis on at least five (5) days of the week for a total of 150mins each week.
F Fasting blood glucose Target range 100-130mg/dL.

 

Published in NWRHA Service