Monthly Archives: April 2015

type 1 – a whole different ball game

Type 1 diabetes is a devastating diagnosis. Usually occurring in young people/children all of a sudden. Thirst, frequency, weight loss with sudden onset of acute illness is how it all unfolds.

What it means in essence is a complete loss of B cells resulting in a complete lack of insulin. Insulin is the key that gets the glucose into a cell. Cells require glucose to metabolise and become anaerobic without it. Yes all very complicated but essentially without insulin the cells “starve”.

Once diagnosed type 1 the child is now dependant on insulin. Unfortunately at this point in time (and watch this space) insulin is dosed by needle and injection. This is most unpleasant (even for adults). It is however life-saving. Pump therapy in essence is a much better/more physiological way of insulin delivery that results in better control with way fewer hypoglycaemic events.

why are there so many diabetics these days? I mean type 2

Well because we stuff our bodies with all kinds of yuck stuff starting with a “c”!! Fizzy drinks, and yes Coke is the devil – especially 2 L of it per day – duh! Did you really think that was ok day after blinking day??

The whole low fat lie thing certainly contributes. The lower the fat generally the higher the sugar and yes those carbs they are really not great when you are stuffing them down morning noon and night :(.

It is actually so easy when it comes to type 2 diabetes – just don’t and you won’t become diabetic – type 2. Exercise, healthy eating – balanced with “normal” human propotions of all the food groups. Don’t cram your mouth full of carbs, sit on the couch, drink full fizz and expect to look like a ramp model and live a healthy long life.

Sugary, sticky mess

Running a sugar >10 consistently is like pouring coke onto the floor and walking over it – your shoe sticks. This is the sticky mess inside your entire blood system – arteries and veins and the reason that things like blindness and kidney failure develop over time.

But, on the contrary – if you control your sugars YOU will live LONGER than the average population. Particularly if you are using correct diet and exercise in combination with your meds to get that control.

The choice is entirely yours.

What is continuous monitoring?

Diabetes is a growing epidemic that despite all our knowledge and ability to completely prevent type 2 exponentially multiplies daily.

However type 1 diabetes is not preventable and usually occurs in children/young adults. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent and one of the things they need to know on a continuous basis is what their sugar is. Up to now this has been done by finger prick (ow!) 4-8 times a day!!!

What a great joy to know that going forward we have more humane, less painful, more accurate ways to continuously monitor the sugar. There are currently devices being launched in south africa in aid of this. The patient has a device inserted once every 3 days which then “talks” to device with a screen and projects the sugar onto the screen with a continous graph. What this enables the patient to do is to spot the trend – i.e. down or up and do something about the trend BEFORE manifesting as a high or a low.

It is imperative for type 1’s to run between about 4 and 8 mmol/l of glucose at any time. Lows can kill. Highs over a long period of time cause damage to the whole body. From eyes, heart, kidneys to limbs etc.

Continous monitoring is a huge leap in transforming CONTROL for diabetics. Better control = better quality of life, less complications and greater longevity.

tolerance and tipsy tarts

On rainy days folk stay inside. This has always amused me. As sick as they may be they will not leave the house, even sometimes risking death at home just not to be out in the cold.

I am stupified to say the least regarding events of late relating to xenophobia and wonder when we will begin to learn tolerance towards one another and that violence on any level is plain madness.

A tipsy tart would go down a treat on a cold and misty day like today.

The very first blog post

drleethegp’s blog posts begin. Health is more than the sum of it’s parts. Health is something I am passionate about, there are many other passions. Diabetes is another one. More on this in time to come

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