Diabetes is a complex and serious disease which affects almost every part of the body. High levels of sugar in the blood damages large and small blood vessels. The most commonly affected organs are the brain, eyes, heart and kidneys. Poor circulation to the legs and feet is very common too.
The aim of treatment in diabetes is to maintain good control of the blood sugar level and minimise damage to blood vessels. Sometimes it is possible to achieve this by following an appropriate diet although often medication is needed too.
The Surgery runs dedicated Diabetes Clinics. The doctors work with Charge Nurse Peter Toovey. People with diabetes are seen at least once a year. When adjustments have been made to medication, patients can often be reviewed over the telephone after going for a blood test.
Patients attend for a blood test prior to their annual review to check kidney function, diabetes control, cholesterol. They are also asked to submit an early morning urine sample as this is a very sensitive way of detecting early kidney disease.
As with most long-term conditions it is important for people to take responsibility for their own health. Good diet, cholesterol, weight control, exercise and avoidance of smoking are very important.
Diabetes UK is an excellent resource for anybody who has or lives with somebody who has diabetes and Bromley has its own local branch.