Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, chapatis, yams and plantain, from sugar and other sweet foods, and from the liver which makes glucose.
Insulin is vital for life. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel by the body.
There are two main types of diabetes. These are:

Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin dependent diabetes): Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin.
Type 2 diabetes (also known as non insulin dependent diabetes): Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

The main aim of treatment of both types of diabetes is to achieve blood glucose and blood pressure levels as near to normal as possible.

If you have any of the symptoms below:
  1. feel unwell
  2. thirsty
  3. hungry
  4. have urinary frequency
or have a family history of diabetes or have developed diabetes during pregnancy – come and see us. We are happy to screen concerned patients for diabetes.
You are at increased risk if you can answer yes to one or more of the following questions, although this does NOT mean you are or will become diabetic:
  1. Are you over 65 years of age?
  2. Do you have a family history of diabetes?
  3. Are you obese?
  4. Are you South Asian or African Caribbean and over 40 years of age?
  5. Have you had or do you have polycystic ovaries?
  6. Do you or have you suffered form cardiovascular disease?
DIABETES AT THE BAYSWATER MEDICAL CENTRE
At the Bayswater Medical Centre, we believe that education is the cornerstone in the treatment of diabetes and whenever possible we try to empower patients to become involved in their own management. Decisions regarding diabetic care are agreed between the Clinician and the patient.
At the Bayswater Medical Centre, we aim to monitor diabetic patients routinely at least once a year, depending on the severity of the diabetes.
Every 6 to 12 months monitoring involves checking the following:
  1. Glucose levels
  2. Liver function
  3. Kidney function
  4. HbA1c levels
  5. Cholesterol levels
The results of the monitoring is discussed with the patient together with any medication being taken and the medication may be adjusted accordingly.
Every 12 months a full health check is carried out. This involves the following:
  1. Pulses
  2. Urine
  3. Checking the patient for possible neuropathy
  4. Foot examination
  5. Blood Pressure
  6. Weight
  7. Referral to foot clinic, dietician and/or eye clinic where necessary
  8. Education groups
  9. In-house smoking cessation clinic
If you are diabetic, make sure you see us at least once a year. We can check when your last health check was to tell you when you’re due for your next one. We are here to help.
WE STRONGLY ADVISE DIABETIC PATIENTS TO STOP SMOKING.

DIABETES IN ITSELF INCREASES THE RISK OF A VASCULAR EVENT (eg: stroke, heart attack) AND SMOKING MERELY INCREASES THE RISK EVEN FURTHER.