In a bid to provide increased support and advice to patients living with diabetes, the Welsh Government has announced plans to introduce virtual group clinics with clinicians, doctors and nurses. Individual virtual medical appointments were introduced in Wales earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the success of the programme has led to the development of online group clinics. As well as clinics dedicated to supporting patients with diabetes, online groups will also be held to offer assistance to other patient groups, including those with musculoskeletal, dermatological and rheumatological conditions.
Are You Living with Diabetes?
Approximately 7.6% of adults in Wales have been diagnosed with diabetes, which means the country has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK. Within this group, more than 90% of people have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
If left untreated, diabetes is a life-threatening condition which can also cause a range of serious complications, such as peripheral neuropathy and loss of sight. However, with the right interventions, diabetes can be managed effectively. Furthermore, people with Type 2 diabetes may be able to reduce their symptoms or eradicate the condition altogether by making changes to their lifestyle.
If you, or someone close to you, has been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to access the support you need so that you’re able to manage the condition safely. By prioritising symptom management, you can reduce the risk of experiencing complications and continue to enjoy a great quality of life. With this in mind, take a look at these top tips for living with diabetes:
1. Understand the Condition
Although diabetes is relatively common, many people are unsure exactly what the condition means, even if they’ve received a diagnosis. If you’re unsure what the difference is between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, for example, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse for more information. Having in-depth knowledge of what diabetes means can help you to manage the condition appropriately and make relevant changes to your lifestyle.
2. Have Regular Check-ups
Once you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment. This may mean taking medication every day or injecting yourself with insulin on a regular basis. Once your treatment regime has been established, there will still be regular check-ups that you’ll need to attend, either virtually or in person. These are designed to ensure the condition is monitored and that any changes to your treatment are made swiftly.
However, it isn’t just check-ups with your GP that you’ll need to prioritise. Common diabetes complications include peripheral neuropathy, which can lead to numbness in your hands and feet, and loss of sight. Due to this, it’s advisable to have regular check-ups with your optician and chiropodist.
3. Inform Your Insurance Companies
When you’re first diagnosed with a medical condition, your first thought probably isn’t to inform your insurance companies. However, failing to disclose your condition could invalidate your insurance, so it’s important to bear this mind. If you have health insurance or travel insurance, for example, you may need to let your insurers know about your updated health status straight away.
In addition to this, you may want to inform your life insurance company swiftly too. Many people assume that you can’t take out life insurance with diabetes, but this isn’t the case. There are a range of diabetes life insurance options available via sites like I’m Insured, so you needn’t let your condition affect your financial and future plans. If you don’t currently have life insurance, now could be the perfect time to at im-insured.co.uk.
4. Be More Active
Doing more physical exercise can be a great way to manage diabetes. Exercise can help your body process insulin better, which combats insulin resistance. In addition to this, regular exercise can lower your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels. As high blood pressure is a risk factor for diabetes complications, keeping your blood pressure within a healthy range is one way to reduce the risk of experiencing complications.
Some people worry that exercise will cause their blood sugar levels to drop too low, leading to hypoglycaemia. While it’s important to talk to your medical team about any concerns you may have, mild to moderate exercise shouldn’t have a negative impact on your wellbeing. In fact, it can dramatically improve your health!
Learning to Manage Diabetes
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, it can seem overwhelming and confusing. By making the most of the support and guidance available, however, you can soon learn how to manage your condition appropriately. By embracing healthy eating, following your doctor’s instructions and taking part in group virtual classes, for example, you can get the information you need and benefit from sharing your experiences with people in the same situation as you.