Navigating the Ups and Downs of Diabetes Management: A Personal Journey

On 14th May 2024, I found myself sitting in the familiar confines of the doctor’s waiting room, awaiting my routine diabetic check-up. The atmosphere was tinged with a sense of anticipation; two weeks prior, I had undergone blood tests, and the results were now in, ready to be unveiled.

The news, however, was less than ideal. My readings had soared above 60, a stark contrast to the recommended level of 40 or below. It was a moment of reckoning, a stark reminder of the relentless nature of diabetes management.

The nurse, with a practiced eye, inquired if there had been any recent changes in my regime. My response was a resolute no. My daily routine of finger pricks remained unchanged, a timeline of consistency amidst the chaos of fluctuating readings. My diet, too, had remained a constant, untouched by the ebb and flow of my glucose levels.

In a curious twist, during my blood test appointment, I had also stepped onto the scales, only to discover a weight loss of approximately 6 pounds since my last visit. It was a small victory, a glimmer of progress in the ongoing battle.

Exercise, however, was a different story altogether. The nurse’s question about my physical activity brought forth the complexities of my current health challenges. Awaiting a consultation for atrial fibrillation, I recounted the history of my heart’s rhythm, disrupted and restored back in 2018, only to falter again in 2021. An ECG had confirmed the suspicions; yet follow-up appointments had been elusive, lost in the shuffle of busy schedules and unforeseen delays.

The impact was clear: my exercise routine had dwindled, hindered by breathlessness with even the simplest exertions. The golf courses, once a haven of leisure and activity, now lay dormant, waiting for the day when my heart would once again keep pace with my passions.

Amidst these reflections, the nurse administered a pneumonia vaccine, a shield against potential complications, and a poignant reminder of the fragility of health. Her assurance that it would last a lifetime carried an undercurrent of humour that did not escape me.

I departed from the clinic with a sense of melancholy, an arm sore from the injection, and a mind heavy with thoughts. The next appointment was set for three months hence, a marker in the future where I would once again face the realities of my condition.

Before leaving, a final piece of advice was imparted: an increase in my statins and Metformin was necessary, a response to the stubborn readings that refused to yield, with a final decision awaited from my doctor. It was a small adjustment in the grand scheme, but one that underscored the ever-evolving nature of living with diabetes.

As I stepped out into the day, the sun high in the sky, I carried with me the weight of the journey and the resolve to continue, one-step at a time.

Quiz 7 Unlocked: Can You Ace These 7 Critical Diabetes Questions? 

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Welcome to a journey of discovery and knowledge with our latest video, “Quiz 7 Unlocked: Can You Ace These 7 Critical Diabetes Questions?” 

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Test Your Knowledge: 7 Must-Try Quiz Questions Every Diabetic Should Know! Quiz No. 6 

Are you ready to challenge your diabetes knowledge? 🤔💡

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Welcome to “Quiz #6 - Test Your Knowledge: 7 Must-Try Quiz Questions Every Diabetic Should Know!” – The ultimate quiz for those living with diabetes and anyone interested in learning more about managing this condition.

👉 In this video, we dive into 7 crucial questions that cover everything from diet and lifestyle to blood sugar management. Whether you are newly diagnosed or a seasoned pro, these questions will test your understanding and perhaps teach you something new!

Why Watch?

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Quiz #5: Uncover Hidden Diabetes Facts! Answers May Surprise You 

🔍 Uncover Hidden Diabetes Facts! 🤯📚

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Quiz #4: Test Your Knowledge! Diabetes MCQs with Surprising Answers 

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Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of diabetes? 🌟 Join us for an exciting quiz that will challenge your understanding of this prevalent health condition. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just curious, our multiple-choice questions (MCQs) will put your knowledge to the test! 🧐

🔹 Why Take This Quiz?

• 🧠 Boost Your Brainpower: Sharpen your mind with thought-provoking questions.

• 🌿 Empower Yourself: Knowledge is the key to better health!

• 🎯 Challenge Accepted: How well will you score? 🏆

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Navigating Medical Exemption Certificates for Diabetics

As a diabetic living in the UK, I recently learned about an essential benefit: the Medical Exemption Certificate. This certificate grants free NHS prescriptions to those who use insulin or medication to manage their diabetes. Surprisingly, I did not discover this through my doctors; it was my friend who enlightened me.

Medical Exemption Certificates for Diabetics

1. What is a Medical Exemption Certificate? A medical exemption certificate entitles you to free NHS prescriptions. If you use insulin or medication to manage your diabetes, you qualify for this benefit. It is essential to have this certificate if you are under 60 and living in England.

2. How to Apply:

3. The Process:

Remember, staying informed about your entitlements is crucial, especially when managing a health condition. I hope this information helps you navigate the process smoothly!

Diabetes Quiz #3: Ultimate Challenge - Test Your Skills & Learn! 

Step into the world of diabetes knowledge with our interactive video, “Diabetes Quiz #3: Ultimate Challenge - Test Your Skills & Learn!” This quiz isn’t just a test; it’s an adventure into understanding diabetes better.

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Diabetes Quiz #2: Are You a Pro? Test Your Knowledge Now! 

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Test Your Knowledge: Diabetes Quiz #1 - Can You Get Them All Right?

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📝 What’s Inside:

• Multiple choice questions covering all things diabetes.

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Unexpected Wisdom: Discovering Diabetes Insights in Unlikely Places

Date: April 4th, 2024

Location: Sheffield, UK

In a quaint Sheffield pub on the 4th April 2024, an unexpected encounter unfolded, reshaping my perspective on diabetes management. With only myself, a friend, and the barmaid present, fate orchestrated an enlightening exchange.

As conversation flowed, my curiosity was piqued by the sensor-based monitoring disc adorning the barmaid's arm. Intrigued, I enquired about its utility and effectiveness. To my surprise, she revealed her profession as a diabetic nurse, her personal connection to type one diabetes, and the integral role of the monitoring disc in her insulin regime.

Delving deeper, she offered insights that diverged from conventional wisdom. Contrary to the routine finger-prick tests advised by many healthcare professionals, she advocated for pre-meal readings for more accurate monitoring, particularly for those on medications like Metformin.

Her perspective challenged traditional approaches, suggesting that for individuals on consistent medication regimes like Metformin, fluctuations in glucose levels might be less pronounced, rendering finger-prick tests less informative. Instead, she emphasised the value of periodic blood tests administered by healthcare providers for a comprehensive understanding of glycaemic control.

Reflecting on our conversation, I realised the invaluable lessons gleaned from this serendipitous encounter. Despite previous guidance from healthcare professionals, the first-hand experiences and insights shared by the barmaid offered fresh perspectives on diabetes management.

This encounter underscored the importance of seeking knowledge from diverse sources and remaining receptive to unconventional wisdom. Ultimately, this fortuitous meeting served as a reminder that understanding and managing diabetes is an ongoing journey of learning and adaptation.

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Annual Diabetic Eye Screening: A Glimpse into the Uncomfortable yet Vital Procedure 

Sheffield, UK - October 5, 2023 - The Sheffield Diabetic Eye Screening Service is no stranger to providing crucial eye care services to individuals with diabetes. Today, we dive into the experience of my first annual diabetic eye screening, shedding light on the procedure's discomfort and importance.

Despite hearing accounts of discomfort from both my father and a close friend, I approached this screening appointment with trepidation. Armed with an appointment letter that had mentioned potential light sensitivity and the recommendation to bring sunglasses, I arrived at the clinic only to realise I had left this sun eyewear behind. As luck would have it, the dull weather outside played to my advantage, sparing me from immediate light sensitivity.

The diabetic eye screening procedure, which aims to detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy, began with the application of pupil-dilating drops—a sensation that took the patient by surprise. "Wow, I just wanted to rub and pull my eyes out!" I told the clinician. The initial discomfort was palpable as my eyes adjusted to the drops.

Following the application of the drops, the clinician advised me to wait in the clinic's waiting room for approximately 10 minutes. This waiting period allowed the eye drops to take effect, enabling a comprehensive examination of the retina.

The screening itself commenced with me seated comfortably in front of a specialised camera, chin resting on a bar. Four flashes of bright light, two for each eye, pierced through the darkness, creating moments of discomfort. These flashes, though brief, were intense, but I maintained composure throughout.

In a matter of minutes, the screening concluded, and I left the clinic with a peculiar visual experience. While I could see straight ahead, the outer peripheries of my vision remained blurred—a common side effect of the dilating eye drops. This temporary visual distortion is expected and typically resolves over time.

It took approximately 2 to 3 hours for my vision to return to normal, gradually alleviating the earlier discomfort and blurriness.

While the annual diabetic eye screening proved to be an uncomfortable experience, it is vital to acknowledge its importance in the early detection and management of diabetic retinopathy. The discomfort, though temporary, serves as a reminder of the critical role these screenings play in preserving vision and overall health for individuals with diabetes.

As I reflect on this experience, I join the countless others who have braved the necessary discomfort of diabetic eye screenings, recognising their invaluable contribution to long-term eye health and diabetes management.

First-Time Diabetic Eye Screening - grappling with anxiety amidst reports of discomfort

Sheffield, UK - October 5, 2023 - In a scenario familiar to many, I am preparing for my first annual diabetic eye-screening test with the Sheffield Diabetic Eye Screening Service, finding myself battling anxiety. The apprehension stems from accounts of discomfort relayed by my father and a close friend, combined with the unfortunate omission of sunglasses, a detail highlighted in the appointment letter. Adding to the unease is uncertainty about the duration of the test.

The annual diabetic eye screening is a crucial component of managing diabetes and preventing eye complications. However, for many first-time patients, the prospect of the screening procedure can be anxiety inducing. The procedure typically involves the use of eye drops to dilate pupils, followed by the capturing of images of the eye's interior to check for diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes that affects the eyes.

The mention of "light sensitivity" in the appointment letter has raised concerns. Light sensitivity, often a side effect of the pupil-dilating drops, can make one's eyes more susceptible to bright lights, potentially causing discomfort.

Regrettably, I discovered that he had forgotten to bring sunglasses to shield my eyes from the anticipated glare. This oversight has added to the anxiety, as I face the prospect of enduring the discomfort without proper eye protection.

Moreover, I am unsure of the duration of the screening. While the actual procedure is relatively brief, typically taking only a few minutes, patients often experience wait times before being seen by medical staff. This uncertainty about how long the entire process will take has further contributed to the unease.

Medical professionals advise patients undergoing diabetic eye screening to arrive early for their appointments to allow time for settling in and to communicate any concerns or needs with clinic staff. Taking deep breaths to manage anxiety and bringing along distractions, such as books or music, are also recommended strategies to help patients navigate the waiting period.

Despite the anxiety, it is essential to recognise that the diabetic eye screening is a proactive step in managing diabetes and preventing potential eye complications. Healthcare professionals at the Sheffield Diabetic Eye Screening Service are dedicated to making the experience as comfortable and efficient as possible for all patients.

As I grapple with the looming procedure, this experience serves as a reminder of the importance of regular diabetic eye screenings for individuals with diabetes and underscores the need for better preparation and support for those facing their first screening.

A Journey to a Healthier Life: Confronting Diabetes and Embracing Change 

I have wrote this article for another publication, however, it relates to myself: -

Introduction

Life often has a way of providing us with wake-up calls that compel us to make significant changes for our well-being. For many, that pivotal moment comes when faced with a health diagnosis that serves as a stark reminder of the importance of self-care. In this article, we'll explore the journey of someone who, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, realised the need to shed excess weight and make significant dietary changes to improve their quality of life.

The Diagnosis

The journey towards a healthier life began with a medical examination for the Our Future Health research program in partnership with the NHS. During this examination, the individual received a weight reading that left them with a profound realisation. At 117 kilograms, it was the heaviest they had ever been. This number, far beyond what they had ever anticipated, served as a powerful wake-up call.

Confronting Diabetes

The most pressing issue that emerged from this diagnosis was the presence of type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition is often linked to lifestyle factors, particularly obesity and poor dietary choices. The realisation that their health was at stake was a powerful motivator for change. They understood that the time had come to take control of their health and manage their diabetes effectively.

Reducing Sugar Intake

One of the immediate changes required to manage type 2 diabetes was a significant reduction in sugar intake. Refined sugars can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can be particularly dangerous for individuals with diabetes. This meant cutting back on sugary snacks, desserts, and sugary drinks. Instead, they began to focus on healthier alternatives such as fresh fruits and sugar-free options.

Cutting Down on Carbs and Calories

Reducing carbohydrate intake and managing calorie consumption were also essential steps in their journey. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the body, affecting blood sugar levels. By reducing carb intake and carefully monitoring their calorie intake, they could better control their diabetes and lose weight simultaneously.

Social Challenges

Challenges arise not only in personal decisions but also in social settings. The individual had to confront the pressure to eat and drink socially, especially during work-related events and outings. These situations often involve tempting, high-calorie options that can derail progress. To address this, they chose to be proactive. They informed their colleagues about their health goals and sought support in making healthier choices during these gatherings.

A Journey to a Healthier Life

Realising the need for change is the first and often the most challenging step towards a healthier life. In this journey, the individual committed to cutting out junk food, reducing meal frequency, and adhering to a daily calorie limit below 1800. With determination and discipline, they are on the path to improved health, better diabetes management, and a reduced weight.

Conclusion

Facing a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and a startling weight reading served as a turning point in this individual's life. They understood that to improve their quality of life, they needed to take control of their health. By reducing sugar intake, cutting down on carbs and calories, and addressing social eating pressures, they are well on their way to a healthier, happier life. This story serves as a reminder that it is never too late to make positive changes and prioritise your well-being.

Navigating the Pinprick: A Journey of Blood Glucose Testing

Living with diabetes often requires individuals to embrace a routine of monitoring their blood glucose levels. One integral part of this routine involves the familiar process of pricking a finger, a sensation that many approach with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation. This simple daily act offers valuable insights into one's health, while the little red book that records these readings becomes a journal of both numbers and emotions.

I started by purchasing a kit on the recommendation of a great friend and mentor, prior to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, although I still haven’t progressed to the blood pressure monitor! In a way I knew the diabetes was coming; I had already been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and both parents got it at my age.

The following are my initial feelings …

Facing Apprehension

For those who have never experienced it, the idea of pricking a finger might sound daunting. The initial apprehension often stems from the thought of pain and discomfort. A small needle breaking the skin can evoke unease, even if the goal is to maintain good health. However, as many individuals with diabetes come to realise, the fear often surpasses the reality. Modern lancets are designed for minimal pain, and the sensation is usually more of a quick pinch than a lasting hurt.

Anticipation and Insight

Once the initial apprehension is overcome, a sense of anticipation sets in. That moment of waiting for the drop of blood, watching it form at the puncture site, is a reminder of the body's intricate processes. As the blood bead grows, the meter stands ready to reveal a crucial piece of information—blood glucose level. In those seconds, anticipation blends with curiosity, and the monitor becomes a window into one's health status.

The Numbers Tell a Story

Each blood glucose reading encapsulates a snapshot of one's body at that precise moment. The numbers can offer reassurance or prompt action, depending on their context. A reading within the target range is a celebration of good management and a sign that the daily efforts are paying off. On the other hand, a reading outside the desired range might lead to reflection, adjustments in medication or lifestyle, and renewed dedication to health goals.

The Ritual of Recording

The little red book becomes more than just a record of numbers; it evolves into a companion on the diabetes journey. Each entry—date, time, reading, and the finger that was pricked—forms a story of persistence and vigilance. Over time, patterns emerge, allowing individuals to identify trends and triggers. It's a tangible manifestation of progress, a testament to the commitment to health.

Emotions and Empowerment

Behind every entry in the little red book lies a spectrum of emotions. Frustration and disappointment might arise from unexpected high readings, while relief and satisfaction come from seeing improvements. Each day's entry carries a narrative of effort, resilience, and the desire to manage diabetes effectively. Over time, these emotions become intertwined with the routine, transforming into a source of empowerment.

Connecting the Dots

Beyond the numbers and emotions, blood glucose testing fosters a deeper connection with one's body. It encourages self-awareness and a keen understanding of how different factors—diet, exercise, stress—affect blood sugar levels. This awareness, in turn, leads to informed decision-making and the ability to make adjustments in real-time.

A Journey of Growth

The journey of blood glucose testing is one of growth and adaptation. What starts as an apprehensive task transforms into a daily ritual that offers insights, empowers decisions, and fosters a closer relationship with one's body. The little red book, once just a collection of entries, becomes a testament to a life lived with intention, resilience, and the pursuit of health.

In the end, the pinprick becomes more than just a momentary sensation; it becomes a symbol of determination, a tool for empowerment, and a bridge to a healthier future. As individuals navigate the routine of testing their blood glucose, they find themselves not only mastering the art of pricking their finger but also mastering the art of managing their own health.

Diabetes Foot Check: A Painless Experience with a Vital Message

I have wrote this article for another publication, however, it relates to myself: -

A Visit to the Nurse's Clinic Room Leaves a Patient Comforted and Informed

In a routine check-up that highlights the importance of preventive healthcare, a local resident recently underwent a foot examination with a focus on diabetes-related concerns. The patient shared their experience, emphasising the significance of regular foot checks and the reassuring expertise of healthcare professionals.

During the examination, a nurse utilised a specialised tool—a thick nylon wire—to gently assess various parts of the patient's bare foot. The patient was quick to note that the examination was entirely painless, alleviating any apprehensions about discomfort.

What made this visit even more pleasant for the patient was the exceptional bedside manner of the nurse. They expressed feeling entirely at ease throughout the process, which can sometimes be an anxiety-inducing experience for individuals. The nurse's professionalism and friendly demeanour contributed to a smooth examination process.

One humorous aspect of the visit was the unexpected presence of fluff that came off the patient's socks during the examination. This light-hearted moment underscored the patient's comfort level and highlighted the importance of approaching healthcare with a sense of humour.

Most importantly, the patient received positive news regarding the condition of their feet. The nurse affirmed that their feet were in good health. However, the examination was not just about providing reassurance; it also included an essential conversation about the potential foot problems that individuals with diabetes can face.

Diabetic foot problems are a serious concern, and early detection is crucial for preventing complications. Individuals living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing issues such as neuropathy, poor circulation, and slow-healing wounds, all of which can lead to severe foot problems if left unaddressed.

This experience serves as a reminder that regular foot examinations should be a standard part of diabetes management. The patient's positive encounter with the nurse underscores the importance of healthcare professionals who not only perform their duties competently but also create an environment where patients can openly discuss their concerns.

In conclusion, this patient's visit to the nurse for a diabetes-related foot examination highlights the significance of proactive healthcare measures. It highlights the need for regular foot checks, the comfort that compassionate healthcare providers can offer, and the value of engaging in conversations about diabetes-related complications. The patient's feet are healthy, and they leave with not only peace of mind but also a commitment to staying vigilant about their diabetes management.

My First Diabetic Foot Check

Today, 4th September 2023, I am having my first diabetic foot check and have a mix of emotions. It is perfectly normal to experience a range of feelings as I embark on this important aspect of diabetes management.

Anxiety: The thought of having my feet examined makes me anxious. I worry about what the doctor might find or if there are any complications, I am unaware of. In addition, I am so ticklish!

Uncertainty: I feel uncertain about what the foot check entails and what the results might mean for my overall health.


Commitment: Going through my first diabetic foot check strengthens my commitment to managing my diabetes. It is a reminder of the importance of self-care, regular check-ups, and following my healthcare team's recommendations.


Gratitude: Lastly, I might feel grateful for the support and care I receive from my healthcare team. Knowing that they are looking out for my well-being and helping me prevent potential complications gives me a sense of gratitude and trust in the medical professionals guiding me.


In conclusion, the emotions I may experience during my first diabetic foot check are entirely normal and reflect the complexity of managing a chronic condition like diabetes. It is essential to acknowledge these feelings, communicate openly with healthcare providers, and use the experience as motivation to continue prioritising my health and well-being. Regular foot checks are a crucial part of diabetes management, contributing to a healthier, more confident future.

That First Tablet

On the 7th of August, 2023, I embarked on a new phase of my health journey by taking my very first Metformin 500mg tablet. It was a moment that carried a blend of emotions—hope, apprehension, curiosity—mingling together in a swirl of anticipation. As the tablet rested on my palm, the weight of what it represented settled upon me. This little pill held the potential to influence my health, my daily routine, and my body's response.

The decision to start with one tablet a day for the first week was a cautious approach, a gradual introduction to this new addition in my life. As I swallowed that initial pill, after my main meal in the evening, I couldn't help but feel a sense of commitment. It was a promise to myself, a declaration that I was taking active steps towards managing my health.

In the beginning, my body responded with a mixture of sensations that were both expected and unexpected. The bloated feeling, the gassy discomfort, and the irregularities in my bowels were like an introductory symphony of side effects. It was as if my body was trying to adapt to this new substance, sending signals that change was underway. Amidst these physical adjustments, there was an emotional undercurrent—a mix of patience and frustration. While I understood that these side effects were common during the adjustment period, they still tested my resolve.

As the first week transitioned into the second, something seemed to shift within my body. The storm of discomfort began to dissipate, making way for a sense of calm. It was as if my body had acclimated to the medication, finding its rhythm within the new routine. The bloating subsided, the wind became less pronounced, and the bowels settled into a more predictable pattern. This transformation wasn't just physical; it also echoed in my emotional state.

The relief that washed over me as my body calmed was profound. The second week felt like a validation of my decision to persist through the initial challenges. It was a reminder that adaptation takes time, that patience is rewarded, and that the discomforts of the beginning could pave the way for a more stable future. The physical improvement resonated on an emotional level, shaping my perspective and reaffirming my commitment to managing my health.

The contrast between the two weeks highlighted the resilience of the human body and spirit. It showcased the power of persistence, the ability to endure the discomforts of change, and the potential for transformation that lies beyond the initial struggles. Those initial days of uncertainty and unease became a stepping stone toward a more balanced and manageable routine.

Looking back, that first Metformin tablet marked not only the beginning of a medical treatment but also a journey of self-discovery and adaptation. The mix of emotions—hope, apprehension, discomfort, relief—reflected the complexity of navigating health challenges. And as I moved forward, the memory of those early days served as a reminder of my ability to navigate change, adapt, and find equilibrium amidst the shifts and challenges that life presented.

Confirmation of my Type 2 Diabetes prognosis 

On July 31st, 2023, I had a consultation with my diabetic nurse that I had been anxiously awaiting. It was a day etched with mixed emotions, an internal storm of thoughts and feelings that seemed to swirl around me like a whirlwind. I remember the way my heart raced as I sat in the waiting room, the minutes ticking by with both anticipation and trepidation.

As the nurse confirmed by a second opinion that I indeed had Type 2 diabetes, a pang of disappointment washed over me. It was a feeling of letting myself down, a sense of guilt that I had somehow failed to take better care of my own body. The thoughts echoed loudly in my mind, wondering if I could have done things differently to avoid this diagnosis. In that moment, I grappled with the realisation that my lifestyle choices had contributed to this outcome, and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

Apprehension for the future was another emotion that flooded my senses. The uncertainty of what lay ahead, the adjustments I would need to make, and the challenges I might face weighed heavily on my mind. The future that once seemed relatively straightforward had suddenly become a labyrinth of dietary considerations, glucose monitoring, and medication management. The fear of potential complications loomed large, casting shadows of doubt and worry.

The news of adding another ailment and tablet to my already growing list felt like an overwhelming burden. Each new diagnosis seemed like another layer of complexity, another chapter in a medical narrative I had not anticipated writing. The thought of integrating yet another medication, in this case Metformin, into my daily routine was a reminder of my body's vulnerabilities. It was a moment of exhaustion, of feeling weary from the continuous demands that health issues were placing upon me.

Metformin, the 500mg tablet that was now part of my daily routine, symbolised both a hope for better management and a reminder of the changes I needed to make. Taking that first tablet felt like a tangible step towards gaining control over my health, yet it also served as a reminder that this journey was just beginning. The initial adjustment period, starting with once-a-day dosing, felt like a testing ground for my willingness to adapt and learn.

In the midst of these complex emotions, I found solace in the knowledge that I wasn't alone. The guidance and support of my diabetic nurse offered a lifeline, a source of information and encouragement that would help me navigate this new chapter. It was a reminder that while the road ahead might be challenging, I had the tools and resources to face it head-on.

Discovering I have become Diabetic!

Discovering I have become diabetic on July 11th, 2023, after being informed about being pre-diabetic two years earlier, evoked a range of emotions and thoughts.

1.       Shock: The news came as a shock, even though I was aware of my pre-diabetic condition. The realisation that my health had taken a more serious turn I found surprising and unsettling.

2.       Disappointment: I felt disappointed in myself, wondering if there was more, I could have done to prevent the progression to diabetes. I reflected on past choices and habits and questioned their impact on my health.

3.       Concern: Concern for my future well-being and the challenges that lie ahead are also unsettling. Thoughts about managing diabetes, making necessary lifestyle changes, and the potential impact on my daily life now weigh heavily on my mind.

4.       Fear: Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management, and the thought of dealing with medications, blood sugar monitoring, and potential complications is daunting.

5.       Motivation: The experience of being pre-diabetic and attending a 13-session course on food instilled a sense of motivation within me initially; however, I felt the course was ‘information overload’. While there is some disappointment, I now more than ever, feel determined to apply some of the knowledge and skills acquired during the course to manage my diabetes effectively.

6.       Support seeking: I feel sharing my concerns, seeking guidance, and connecting with others who have similar experiences can provide reassurance and encouragement. My boss is also my mentor, as he has gone through the same as what I find myself currently going through.

7.       Optimism: Recognising that diabetes is a manageable condition with the right tools, resources, and support, I am hoping that I can develop a positive mind-set and work towards achieving a healthy and fulfilling life despite the diagnosis.

It is essential to remember that everyone's emotional journey in such circumstances can differ. The most important thing is to acknowledge your emotions, seek support when needed, and work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalised management plan for your diabetes.

10 Facts about Diabetes in the United Kingdom

Here are 10 facts regarding diabetes in the United Kingdom:

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Please note that these facts are based on the information available up until September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes since then.

10 Facts about Diabetes in the United States of America

Here are 10 facts regarding diabetes within the United States:

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It's important to note that these facts are based on general statistics and trends in the United States. Diabetes is a complex condition, and individual experiences and circumstances may vary. For specific and up-to-date information, it's recommended to refer to reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or consult with healthcare professionals.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

When you have diabetes, either your pancreas isn't making enough insulin or the insulin that your body is making isn't being used the way it's supposed to be used, typically because the cells become resistant to it. The result: Your cells become deprived of glucose and you experience a lack of energy and extreme fatigue.

 

Are You at Risk?

More than 30 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, nearly 24% (approximately 7.2 million people) of people with the condition are undiagnosed, so it's important to be aware of the symptoms, especially if you:


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Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)

 

Excessive thirst typically goes hand-in-hand with increased urination. As the body pulls water out of the tissues to dilute the blood and get rid of excess glucose, the urge to drink increases. Many people describe this thirst as unquenchable.

To stay hydrated, you may feel the urge to drink excessive amounts of liquids. If those liquids contain simple sugars (such as soda, sweet iced tea, lemonade, or juice, for example) your glucose level will skyrocket even higher.

 

 

Extreme Fatigue

 

Your body is like a car—it needs fuel to function. The body's primary source of fuel is glucose, which is broken down from foods that contain carbohydrates. Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, moves glucose from the blood into the cells to use for energy.

When you have diabetes, either your pancreas isn't making enough insulin or the insulin that your body is making isn't being used the way it's supposed to be used, typically because the cells become resistant to it. The result: Your cells become deprived of glucose and you experience a lack of energy and extreme fatigue.


 

Polyphagia (Excessive Hunger)

 

Excessive hunger is correlated with fatigue and cell starvation. Because the cells are resistant to insulin, glucose remains in the blood. The cells are then unable to gain access to glucose, which can trigger the release of hormones that tell the brain that you are hungry. Excessive eating can complicate things further by causing blood sugar levels to increase.

 

 

Neuropathy (Nerve Tingling)

 

Numbness, tingling, or a feeling of "pins and needles" in the arms or legs brought on by type 2 diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. This symptom tends to develop gradually over time as excess sugar damages the nerves. Keeping glucose levels within the normal range can help prevent further damage and reduce symptoms. People with severe neuropathy may require medication.

 

 

Cuts and Bruises that are Slow to Heal

 

When the blood is thick with sugar, it may not move as freely throughout the body. Adequate circulation is required for healing: Poor circulation can make it hard for blood to reach affected areas, slowing down the healing process. A cut or bruise that is slow to improve could be a sign of high blood sugar.

 

 

Blurry Vision

 

Blurred vision can result from elevated blood sugar. Similarly, fluid that is pulled from the cells into the bloodstream to dilute glucose can also be pulled from the lenses of the eyes, causing them to become excessively dry and unable to focus. It is important to have a dilated eye exam shortly after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Damage to the eye may occur even before a diagnosis of diabetes exists.


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Rare Symptoms

 

Although the less common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not experienced by everyone, they can signal the disease and are worth being aware of:

·         Dry mouth (a sign of dehydration that can result from increased urination)

·         Irritability

·         Dry, itchy skin

·         Skin tags

·         Frequent infections, such as yeast infections

·         Acanthosis nigricans - dark, "velvety" patches of skin on the armpits, groin, and neck folds, and over the joints of the fingers and toes. It is an indicator of high insulin and is seen most often in African Americans

·         Unexplained weight loss (usually associated with type 1 diabetes, but it can also occur with type 2 diabetes when there is insulin deficiency)

·         Erectile dysfunction (after years of high blood sugar)

 

Complications

 

Complications of diabetes develop slowly, but may become severe if the condition is untreated.3 By the time someone is diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes the body has been fighting high sugar and insulin levels for about 10 years.

·         Stroke

·         High blood pressure

·         Coronary artery disease

·         Foot problems caused by insufficient blood flow and nerve damage, sometimes severe enough to warrant amputation

·         Nerve damage (neuropathy)

·         Eye damage (retinopathy)

·         Ketoacidosis

·         Kidney damage (nephropathy)

 

 

When to See a Healthcare Provider

 

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may occur gradually, but they should not be ignored. If you begin to notice any of them, make an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible.

If you're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they can connect you with a certified diabetes educator and provide guidance for receiving diabetes self-management education. You also can get this help from the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. These services often are covered by insurance; check your provider for details about your plan.

 

 

When to Go to the Hospital

 

Both very high blood sugar, or severe hyperglycaemia, and very low blood sugar, or severe hypoglycaemia, can be considered a medical emergency.

 

 

Hyperglycaemia

 

If diabetes is untreated and blood glucose levels become too high, serious complications can occur, such as hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic syndrome (HHNS), sometimes referred to as diabetic coma, or diabetic ketoacidosis. Get urgent medical care if you experience any symptoms related to hyperglycaemia:

·         Extreme thirst

·         Frequent urination

·         Warm, dry skin that does not sweat

·         High fever (over 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

·         Sleepiness or confusion

·         Loss of vision

·         Hallucinations

·         Weakness on one side of the body

 

 

Hypoglycaemia

 

If blood sugar levels dip too low, you may experience any or all of the following:

·         Dizziness

·         Shaking

·         Headache

·         Sweating

·         Hunger

Have a food or beverage that contains sugar immediately and consider getting urgent medical care.


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A Word from Verywell

 

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be unsettling, especially given it's a disease that must be dealt with daily. However, it's manageable and whatever steps you need to take will become second nature. Learning all you can about the condition will help as well. For some people, lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise can actually get blood sugars below the diabetes threshold. You can control your diabetes and not let it control you.

Article from Type 2 Diabetes: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications (verywellhealth.com) 

Very Health's content is for informational and educational purposes only. Their website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Very Health is not associated with any products offered on this site.