Diabetes and ways to manage or avoid it

Dr Vindi Bhandal - senior partner with Sleaford Medical Group. EMN-181119-214142001
Dr Vindi Bhandal - senior partner with Sleaford Medical Group. EMN-181119-214142001

Dr Vindi Bhandal, senior partner with Sleaford Medical Group, has been writing a series of monthly columns on important health and wellbeing topics relevant to local people.

This month she focuses on the increasing number of people who are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes:

It is a condition in which your body cannot control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It affects people usually over forty, it is linked to being overweight or inactivity, and having a family history of diabetes. It can present with symptoms of excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot, tiredness, blurred vision or repeatedly getting thrush infections.

Many people may have diabetes without realising it as the symptoms do not make you feel unwell.

It can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney failure, cause vision problems even blindness, it can cause nerve damage which can lead to numbness and ulceration in the feet or legs which may eventually lead to amputation.

Your GP can make the diagnosis by doing urine and blood tests and support you to manage your diabetes offering lifestyle advice and medication with regular follow up. A healthy diet and keeping active helps to manage blood sugar in diabetes as well as controlling weight, it generally will make you feel better. Most people need medicine to control their diabetes, which helps keep blood sugar levels normal as possible to prevent health problems. Many people need to take medicine for the rest of their life, but exercise and a healthy diet is a very important in terms of self help to control your blood sugar level.

Diabetes is a long term medical condition, you will require regular check ups to make sure your blood sugar is under control, it is important to have regular eye, dental and foot checks, along with blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

This will help diagnose any complications early so they can be treated.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described make an appointment at your surgery to be tested.

SMG has worked alongside the Sleaford Striders to launch the Parkrun UK initiative that could see patients being prescribed outdoor physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles and improve the wellbeing of patients and staff.

The initiative is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners encourages practices to develop close links with their local parkrun to become certified ‘parkrun practices’ with health care professionals signposting patients and carers to parkrun, particularly those who have longterm conditions.

I would like to see more local weekly sessions simply to get people walking jogging or running to increase mobility and general wellbeing.