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Family Guide to Diabetes

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Family Guide to Diabetes
Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal due to the human body being unable to use it correctly. The pancreas which is an organ near to the stomach produces a hormone called insulin to help glucose enter the cells in our body, however diabetics' pancreas does not produce or use the insulin it produces in the way it should.

Glucose either comes from carbohydrates being digested by the body or being produced by the liver. It has been found that 3.2 million people have been diagnosed in the UK and it is thought that around 630,000 people living in the UK have the disease but do not know.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is most common in childhood and will usually develop before the age of 40. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes will not produce any insulin at all, so the glucose levels will build up in the blood. People with Type 2 diabetes do produce insulin but this is only a small amount and not enough for cells to allow glucose into the system again there will be a build-up of glucose in the blood. Type 2 usually affects people over the age of 40.

There are several symptoms that may occur when diabetes goes undiagnosed. The main symptoms include unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness, passing urine more regularly than usual and reoccurring thrush, blurred vision, slow healing wounds or cuts and a big increase in thirst. Early finding, treatment and good control is extremely valuable to reduce the chances of developing serious diabetic complications.

Living with Diabetes

An early diagnosis is also important because, in many cases, the earlier the condition is detected, the more can be done to help the diabetic to manage and cope with their condition. It also ensures that whoever is suffering from the condition has more support and information giving to them regarding the next steps. This will also help people supporting or living with someone with diabetes by making them aware of the next steps to take.

People living with diabetes will have to make some lifestyle changes as the aim of the treatment is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Treatment will lower the chances of complications progressing. Treatment for Type 1 diabetes may be seen as a very strict routine. Daily injections of insulin or a pump is required along with blood glucose testing several times a day, a healthy calculated diet and physical activity is also very important. Type 1 diabetes is quite difficult to control and is a condition that needs to be managed on a daily basis. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes is ever so slightly different. Healthy diet control and physical activity is a must, home blood sugar testing and in some cases oral medication and insulin. It's found that around 40 of Type 2 diabetics require injections of insulin.
Different people respond in different ways but most individuals may find that they are overwhelmed or have very high emotions when first being diagnosed. Support from family members and friends is incredibly important but support from healthcare team and GPs is also available. There is a tremendous amount of support out there from voluntary groups to care events which are very beneficial to diabetics.

Practical Aids

By following simple steps and a daily routine an individual will have much greater control over their diabetes. People with the condition, could potentially benefit from the excellent range of products we have. Listed below are examples of some of the products that may help everyday living.

Medical Aids

On an occasion a person may forget to take their medication due to a complex regime, with our medication reminder and medical alert watch this can be controlled and overcome. The medication management section gives a wide range of products to choose from to help on a daily basis with complicated treatments. Examples of these are daily pill organisers to seven day pill organisers. Diabetics may struggle with wounds cuts the sorboskin blister plasters and first aid kits may be extremely valuable.

Physiotherapy Aids

A great step towards a healthy lifestyle is participating in physical activity. This can be from very little exercise to working out 3-4 times a week. Manufacturers have designed fantastic products of exercise balls, exercise mats and exercise weights that can be all used for strength, co-ordination and agility.

Sensory Aids

As time progresses people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma; at their most extreme these eye problems can cause loss of vision or even blindness. There are particular products have been specifically designed to help people suffering from poor eyesight, these range from big button phones with emergency pendants to standing page magnifier.

Useful products for Diabetes

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