DIABETES SA • WESTERN CAPE BRANCH • SOUTH AFRICA

                  

 



What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot make it's own insulin or cannot use insulin properly. Your blood glucose will be high and you will need treatment. Diabetes can be managed with medication, a healthy diet and exercise.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Constant urination, severe fatigue, always thirsty, trouble with your eyesight, sores that take a very long time to heal and itchy skin.

Who gets diabetes?
Diabetes is a common condition which affects 2.4 million people in South Africa of all races, both men and women from all walks of life.

What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that helps the body to use glucose. It is the "key" that unlocks the "door" to the cells and allows glucose to enter. Glucose is the fuel for your body's cells.

Are there different types of diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is when your body doesn't produce insulin and has to be injected daily. Type 2 diabetes is when your body produces insulin, but your body cannot use it properly. Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as insulin resistant.

What are the complications of diabetes?
Living with high blood glucose for a long time can cause serious damage to your body. Without medication, a healthy diet and exercise, you can do damage to your eyes, kidneys, your nerves, your vascular system, your heart and your feet. You can also have problems with sexual dysfunction, and infections. The good news is that if you manage your diabetes, you will stay healthy and live a long life.

What are the symptoms of low blood glucose?
Irritability, confusion, shakiness, numbness in the arms and hands, slurred speech, unconsciousness and coma.

How do I test my blood glucose?
A drop of blood from your finger is placed on a little strip in a blood glucose monitor. You cac also test your glucose by doing a urine test at your doctor. It's important to monitor your blood glucose regularly, to see how your food, medication and exercise is affecting you.

How do I manage my diabetes?
There is no such thing as "Diabetic Diet", only a healthy way of eating which is recommended for everyone. Food and drink raise blood glucose levels. Plan your meal to include all 4 food groups and to avoid highs and lows of blood glucose. Exercise lowers blood glucose levels. Exercise is good for everyone buy it is most important if you have diabetes. Exercise includes all physical activity such as walking, housework and gardening as well as sports. Always remember to keep some form of sugar or glucose on you at all times in case your blood glucose drops too low.