Author Topic: Diabetes help  (Read 666 times)

Diabetes help
« on: January 12, 2011, 09:53:54 am »
HI,
my dad was diagnosed with diabetes before xmas. He is getting loads of help from the GP... can anyone point me in the direction of some good websites so he can read up on diet, exercise and the condition in general please,

Cheers
Rich

A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching

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Re: Diabetes help
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 10:00:30 am »
HI,
my dad was diagnosed with diabetes before xmas. He is getting loads of help from the GP... can anyone point me in the direction of some good websites so he can read up on diet, exercise and the condition in general please,
Diabetes UK should be your starting point: http://www.diabetes.org.uk/ - it's worth joining them too, their magazine is very informative. In general, any exercise is a Good Thing, and you don't necessarily have to adhere to some stupidly restrictive diet - just be sensible.

It doesn't need to rule (or ruin) your life, although admittedly he may feel like absolute crap initially until medication levels are sorted out.

Another thing your father should remember is that he controls the condition, not the other way around. The most irritating thing for me is the number of pills I have to take ...

Simon (Type 2 diabetic)


Re: Diabetes help
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 10:02:30 am »
thanks Simon
he's prettty much 'got a handle' on it. but he is after more information...
Cheers
Rich

A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching

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Re: Diabetes help
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2011, 10:25:37 am »
thanks Simon
he's prettty much 'got a handle' on it. but he is after more information...
Plenty of that - you just have to sift through an awful lot of crap to get to the good stuff. Don'tcha just love the web? There are discussion forums, of course, but I found them to be of widely varying degrees of usefulness.

Anyway, some stuff which might help:

When I was first diagnosed, my GP hooked me up with a support group, which was basically a bunch of people in a room with someone talking about the condition in general and how to keep it under control. If something like this is available where you are, it's worth looking into - although diabetes is more common than a lot of people think, it's easy to feel that you're the only one who has it and meeting and talking with people in the same boat helped a lot.

Your father should be getting reviews with the GP every three months - in my case it involves blood tests (HBA1c, cholesterol etc.) and then a GPs appointment when the tests come in and adjustment of medication if appropriate. Once your GP feels that everything's under control, the testing period may be increased to every 6 months.

He should get his blood pressure checked on a regular basis too.

He should also have annual retina scans - this is basically to check whether or not he's suffering from retinal neuropathy and/or glaucoma. Even if he doesn't wear glasses he should get his eyes tested regularly via a regular optician (eye tests are free for diabetics) and if there's anything amiss then tell your GP.

If he normally pays for prescriptions, tell him to get a prescription exemption card if he doesn't already have one - it'll involve getting a form from the GP surgery and filling it it. Return it to the GP and he'll take care of the rest - the card will arrive in the post. Diabetics on diabetes-related medication are entitled to free prescriptions, but the exemption will cover *all* prescriptions charges, not just those for the diabetes-related meds.

In terms of diet: I was basically told to cut down on sugar and fat - it helped. I still eat pretty much what I like, just less of it. Controlling portion size was the biggest problem for me - took a while to get the hang of it. Your dad could ask for a referral to a dietician if this is an issue. Of course, the up-side of all this is that I'm losing weight (not a bad thing in my case ;) )

In terms of exercise: In my case, it was just a matter of 'keep riding the bike' but take care to carry some food with me in case I had a hypo. I normally keep a tube of glucose tablets in my saddlebag but rarely have to use them - it's pretty easy to tell when your blood sugar gets too low! If he's on insulin, then he should go easy on the exercise until he gets the dosages sorted out - running/walking, swimming, cycling, it's all good.

If he has a blood-glucose monitor then don't obsess over the numbers - keep a record by all means (I use a simple spreadsheet) but don't fret if you stray outside of any guidelines laid down by your GP. It'll take a few months to get everything under control.

Like everything else, it's a bit of a chore to start with but you get used to it.