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Living With Diabetes Does Not Have To Mean Diabetic Complications

Hey there Guys,

Unfortunately the rate of diabetes in Australia is currently on the rise. While studies have shown that simple changes to diet and exercise can be great for pre-diabetes, it was always thought that once formal diabetes had been diagnosed the rate of progression and complications was not able to be stopped.

Progression in diabetes generally means that blood sugars continue to rise despite normal treatment plans being offered.

Higher blood sugar levels can lead to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, poor wound healing and even amputations. The complications are severe and life changing.

The good news is that a new study done in Melbourne Australia indicates that many of these complications can be avoided.

As reported in the American Diabetes Association website use of intensive medical therapies to optimise blood sugars help keep the measure of long term blood sugars, HbA1C from rising quickly. This is a good indicator that blood sugars are steady and there is less likelyhood of the side effects caused by high blood sugar levels.

“Intensive medial therapies” can include earlier progression to use of medications including insulin Many people resist starting insulin however the benefits are clear. In the people who were using insulin there was a slight weight increase and risk of low blood sugar episodes, “hypo’s”. Compared to blindness, amputations, heart attack and stroke these are very manageable side effects.

So what does this mean in a nut shell?

If you are diagnosed as diabetic it does not have to mean a life of doom, gloom and potential complications. Effective treatments that are well monitored can help keep blood sugars normal helping prevent the potentially disabling complications of diabetes. Keeping these sugars low may require a graduated increase in treatments including starting insulin earlier then we currently do.

Having read this study I am definitely going to be working hard to help my diabetic patients keep their sugars low including talking about the potential for insulin if tablets are not keeping sugars low. It’s important you feel confident talking with your doctor about how to best keep your sugars even. Even if this means starting insulin earlier then expected the benefit can be reducing the risk of many diabetic complications.

The abstract of the study can be read here:
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/13/dc11-1307.abstract 

Yours in good health.

Dr George

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