Diabetes UK, Wellingborough Group:|
As a diabetic UK group, we can offer opportunities for you to share experiences, if you wish, with others in your local area and keep up-to-date with diabetic care and management. For many, joining a group can be the first step in learning how to manage their diabetes.
He opened his presentation by highlighting some of the common signs and symptoms of diabetes and the effect it can have on our health and wellbeing.
He describes diabetes as a Ďvascularí disease which can have a negative impact on any part of the body. He stressed the importance of having regular (twice a year) HbA1c blood tests. The HbA1c test is not the same as the blood test that most diabetics will take each day. The HbA1c results will show the average level of blood glucose over a six month period and therefore a much more meaningful indicator of how well blood glucose is being managed. We shouldnít be overly concerned about individual high glucose readings; the damage is caused when we are exposed to high glucose over long periods, thatís why the HbA1c test should be the benchmark.
|A number of members stressed that they hadnít received an invitation from their doctors to have the blood test. Mr Chadha stressed that itís the individualís responsibility to have the blood test and they shouldnít rely on the GP Ė at the end of the day itís about our health and therefore we should take responsibility and be more assertive when asking for the blood test to be conducted.|
He also discussed the impact of diabetes on the eye. As above with the HbA1c test, he stressed the importance of having an annual eye screening which would identify potential problems early and therefore being able to take appropriate actions before itís too late.
Because the eye has many very small blood vessels, itís likely to be effected by high levels of glucose which effects the inner lining of the blood vessels. Mr Chadha stressed that if damage to the eye isnít detected early enough it could lead to blindness.
He also talked about the causes and treatments for cataracts and glaucoma, again stressing the importance of having regular screenings.
He was keen to stress that the eye test we might have as part of an opticianís examination is not a replacement for the annual diabetes eye screening.
If you are not currently having regular diabetic eye screening, you must contact your doctor and ask them to refer you to the Northants Eye Screening service.
As Mr Chadha stressed, itís our health and therefore we must take personal responsibility for it.