Keeping with the advice of the health care professionals who look after us is not always easy. Following diets and exercise programmes, checking of blood sugar levels, attending appointments can be tough.
I often wonder how difficult it must be for parents whose children have diabetes. It’s tough enough bringing up children but to add the necessity to keep track of your child’s blood sugar levels and to administer insulin injections must at times become very challenging.
For these parents there is little choice, they must follow the advice and work towards control of their children’s blood sugar levels.
For the rest of us we are faced with many choices and temptations. Nicely packaged and advertised processed foods, candy, chocolates, sugar laden fizzy drinks, reasons not to do that exercise, I’ll leave it to tomorrow syndrome to name a few.
Unfortunately, diabetes that's not properly managed can cause many serious health problems. It's wise to take precautions against associated illnesses as soon as possible.
Excess glucose in the blood damages the blood vessels and nerves, contributing to:
• heart disease
• kidney disease (nephropathy)
• peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
• nerve damage (neuropathy)
• damage to the back of the eye (retinopathy)
Uncontrolled diabetes is the commonest cause of blindness in people of working age, although treatment can prevent blindness in 90 per cent of those at risk.
Diabetes is the second most common cause of lower limb amputation, trauma being responsible for most leg amputation
However, it's possible to minimize the risk of developing these complications by working towards keeping diabetes under tight control. What has passed is in the past and the important message this morning is that we all continue with the advice of our health care professional and work towards keeping our diabetes under control. Much like the parents of children with diabetes have to do on a daily basis.
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