General Articles

What Is Diabetes Health?

What Is Diabetes Health?

Anyone who has never known a person who is a diabetic probably doesn’t know too much about the condition and might ask “What is diabetes health? Is it different from the health of someone who doesn’t have diabetes?” The answer to the latter question is yes, it is different because the nature of the condition makes different parts of the body react differently to those areas in a non-diabetic.

Diabetes is a condition where either the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin to lower the levels of glucose in the blood (Type 1 Diabetes) or the body cannot properly use the insulin which is produced (Type 2 Diabetes) or sometimes both. As a consequence, the glucose levels become abnormally high (known as hyperglycaemia) thus damaging the cells which the glucose would otherwise be nourishing. Over time the retina, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels can be affected.

As a consequence, anyone who is diagnosed diabetic needs to takes special care over certain aspects of their health.

• Eyes. Retinal damage caused by diabetes can cause blindness. A diabetic must see an ophthalmologist at least every year to ensure that no deterioration is taking place (or already had prior to diagnosis).

• Nerves. Diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in the extremities, particularly the feet. A diabetic should never cut their own toe nails but should see a qualified chiropodist specialising in diabetes about every six weeks to have their nails trimmed, hard skin removed and nerves assessed. Any damage to the feet or legs should be treated immediately by a health care professional to prevent infection setting in. Failure to do so could ultimately result in amputation of the foot or leg.

• Kidneys. Damage to the kidneys can lead to kidney failure so a urine test every three months is essential so that a doctor can assess what impact the diabetes or the medication is having.

• Arteries. Diabetes speeds up the formation of plaque in the arteries which can lead to thromboses, heart attack and poor circulation in the arms and legs. Regular blood tests can detect this.

• Blood. High blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides can result from diabetes all of which can contribute to cardio vascular and kidney disease. A blood test at least every three months will enable the monitoring of these levels. An adjustment to lifestyle or medication can usually sort out any problems quickly.

In addition, a diabetic will need to ensure that they take their prescribed medication regularly and adapt their eating, drinking and smoking habits to help the medication to do its job.

There are additional risks and conditions which are associated with diabetes but now you can answer the question what is diabetes health, its implications and preventative measures which can be taken.