The 2018 World Diabetes Day is happening on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. The campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation, and the theme for 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.
The primary aim of the 2018–19 campaign is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of the condition.
The number of people with diabetes in Ireland is growing rapidly, with the total number estimated to be 225,840.
Meet Nicola Delaney, a 38-year-old mum from Co. Tipperary. Nicola is a diabetic and a Croí programme participant. We asked Nicola to share her story in recognition of #WDD2018:
“Before, I didn’t take my health too seriously. I was borderline diabetic for years… then I was diagnosed with diabetes eight or nine years ago. I was referred to Croí for support and it really gave me a kick in the backside!”
“I finally took a stand for my health, and I feel so much better…better health, happier, overall improved. I am more mindful around my diet – why am I eating this? What are the benefits or the risks? I see it with my 12-year-old son, too. He wouldn’t eat fruit before, and now I can explain to him and educate him about food,” says Nicola.
Nicola’s words of support are “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Get help – go to your GP or Croí. There are so many resources available online too.”
Diabetes can increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. This is why the target levels for blood pressure and cholesterol are lower for people with diabetes than for other people.
Knowing the symptoms and risk factors for diabetes is important as non-diagnosis can seriously affect your quality of life. Undiagnosed or poor controlled diabetes can damage your heart, arteries, eyes, nerves and kidneys leading to serious health problems for you and your family to cope with.
You need to pay careful attention to keeping blood sugar levels in your target range and have regular check-ups for cholesterol and blood pressure. Take your medications as prescribed and try to get to and stay at a healthy weight. If you are having difficulty managing your diet, ask your GP to refer you to a dietitian for advice and support.
There is great potential to prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals by lifestyle intervention. In order to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that all people have a healthy balanced diet, take regular physical activity and attain a weight appropriate to their height.
You are more at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes if you are:
• Over 40 years of age
• Have a parent or brother/sister with diabetes
• Had diabetes during a pregnancy
• Are overweight for your height
• Do not take 30 minutes of physical activity daily
• Have high blood pressure
• Have high cholesterol
And/or recognise any of these symptoms:
• Blurred vision
• Fatigue, lack of energy
• Extreme thirst
• Frequent trips to the bathroom (urination) especially at night
• Rapid and unexplained weight gain or loss
• Frequent infections
• Numbness, pain or tingling in your hands or feet
The more risk factors or symptoms that you have the more likely you are to have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Take the risk test now at www.diabetes.ie/risk
Continue reading at www.diabetes.ie