Glucose monitoring has revolutionised the management of diabetes by providing the means for patients to check their blood glucose level in real time. This review provides an update on continuous glucose monitoring, looks at the devices available and analyses what the strategy adds to diabetes management.
Diabetes affects approximately 3-4% of the British population but is thought to be significantly under-diagnosed. How can we improve the number of patients who are diagnosed early and so improve their risk of long-term complications?
Glycated haemoglobin – HbA1C, or A1C as it is now being called – should be used to diagnose diabetes, according to a recent recommendation from an international expert committee appointed by the American Diabetes Association, the International Diabetes Federation and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. We explore the basis for this recommendation, and look at why HbA1C would provide a more accurate measure for diagnosing diabetes than glucose tests and what the change would mean in clinical practice.
The new national strategy for vascular risk assessment, now being referred to as NHS Health Check, will include testing for diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). This follows a major evaluation of the evidence showing that it is more cost-effective to screen individuals for IGT than screening for diabetes alone, but only as part of the broader vascular risk assessment. This article examines the concepts of IGT and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and offers practical advice as to how these conditions can be managed in primary care.
We often take modern medicine for granted,but a review of the history of a disease and its treatment can help us put the whole thing in perspective.In this article,we trace the development of understanding about the nature and cause of diabetes and the use of insulin as a key treatment.
Starting on insulin injections represents a major change for most people with diabetes. Many aspects of everyday life will need to be considered more carefully,which can be quite daunting.With adequate support and education from the practice nurse,patients can be encouraged to be proactive and positive towards this new stage in their lives. This article looks at people with type 2 diabetes or those with stable type 1 diabetes,who are likely to be managed in general practice.We discuss everyday concerns about using insulin,why people on insulin are prone to put on weight,how exercise affects blood glucose levels,how to manage illness in those with diabetes and how to adequately prepare for holidays.
Everyone with diabetes deserves the highest standards of personalised diabetes care, no matter where, when or by whom this care is delivered.
All of us delivering care to people with diabetes know that it’s increasingly common, affecting two million people in the UK,according to figures for 2007.It is also expensive,taking up about 10% of NHS costs and 5% of social costs. We also know it’s the commonest cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations and that’s just one of the reasons that we spend so much time in clinics optimising care and detecting complications.But how well do we understand the impact of foot disease and how organised are we in assessing and treating it?
Lipohypertrophy is surprisingly common in people using insulin to control their diabetes. As more and more people with diabetes are managed in primary care, practice nurses take on a greater role in the management and education of these patients. This article considers what lipohypertrophy is, how it can be prevented and how it should be managed once it has been identified.
Why is it that some patients with diabetes are able to stick to the ‘straight and narrow’ while others fall off the rails? I decided to look at my client group to see if I could pick up on any particular issues that made people either forget that they have diabetes, or struggle to continue to control their blood glucose levels as they had previously been doing. This article reviews what I found and offers some suggestions on how to help patients get back in control.