A Short Guide to Diabetes
Signs and Symptoms:
- Excessive thirst and increased urination, especially at night
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Losing weight without trying to
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/wounds that take longer than expected to heal
- Genital itching or thrush
What to do if you have these symptoms
If you have any of the symptoms, contact your GP to book an appointment. These symptoms don’t always mean you have diabetes, but if you do, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can get your health back on track. Diabetes is caused by having too much sugar in your blood. There is no cure yet, but you can still stay healthy if you keep your blood sugar levels under control.
What happens if you ignore the signs of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes appears quite rapidly and can make you very ill. If Type 1 diabetes is not treated, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (poisonous chemicals which build up in the blood as the body begins to break down its own tissues to survive) which can lead to coma and death. Type 1 diabetes is kept under control with Insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly, especially in the early stages. But if left untreated it can still affect your major organs and your nervous system, and requires treatment. Some people with Type 2 Diabetes need medication, but sometimes a change of diet is enough to control it.
What to expect if you receive a diagnosis
Your GP or diabetic nurse should talk you through your diagnosis and explain what it means. You might need to take medication to control your blood sugar levels. Good blood sugar control can reduce your risk of any diabetic complications. Your blood sugar levels can be checked with regular blood tests.
You will also be offered annual checks for any health problems caused by diabetes. This will include checking the nerves in your feet and legs. You should be given advice about how to protect your health with simple lifestyle changes, which can limit the potential damage from diabetes. They may also put you in touch with any support groups in the area.
You may be told that you are pre-diabetic. Click here for more information
Retinal screening is one of the annual appointments offered to people with diabetes from the age of 12. Screening allows early detection of diabetic eye disease, which can cause sight loss if left untreated. There are treatments available for diabetic eye disease, but early detection is vital.
For more information about diabetic eye screening, please visit: http://www.desphiow.co.uk
b) Travel Vaccinations
If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to contact Reception to book a travel assessment appointment.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the link below:
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe the EU has published useful information for travellers on the European website
c) Blood Clinics
We have phlebotomists who are trained to take your blood and run various clinics throughout the week.
You must have consulted your Doctor before booking a blood test unless you are having regular blood tests for chronic disease management.
If you require a blood test for the hospital, please ensure you bring the blood form you were given.
Please contact reception for more information.
d) Quit Smoking
Smoking causes a number of serious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reduces the blood flow to your legs. Smokers also have an increased risk of cataracts, eye problems, psoriasis, gum disease, tooth loss, impotence and thin bones. It also costs you a lot of money. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day can cost about £3,000 a year.
2 in 3 smokers want to stop smoking. Some people can give up easily. Willpower and determination are the most important aspects when giving up smoking. However, nicotine is a drug of addiction and many people find giving up a struggle.
The good news is that help is available on the NHS. “Stop smoking clinics” have a very good success rate in helping people to stop smoking. Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting. These include nicotine patches, chewing gums, sprays, patches, nose sprays and tablets, with good success rates.
We would encourage you to think about stopping smoking. The NHS locally offers support and help to stop smoking for free. To contact the local Stop Smoking Clinics please call 0845 602 4664 or
text QUIT to 60123 or go online at http://www.quit4life.nhs.uk/.