Management of Diabetes Mellitus at Victoria Street Medical Group
We have a multidisciplinary care team to optimise the management of diabetes. This includes our doctors, practice nurse, diabetic nurse educator, dietitian and physiotherapist. Our doctor may advise lifestyle modification, use of medications, sometimes insulin injections and also engage the services allied health professionals and specialists including eye specialists and endocrinologist either privately or through the Royal Melbourne or Royal Children’s Hospitals to improve your chances of having optimum quality of life.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood are too high. Blood glucose levels are normally regulated by the hormone insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when there is a problem with this hormone and how it works in the body.
Around 5.1 per cent of Australians aged 18 years or older have diabetes. The risk of diabetes increases with age, from 2.8 per cent in people aged 35 to 44, to 15.0 per cent in those aged 65 to 74.
Types of Diabetes
Type I accounts for about 10% of diabetes and is due to destruction of the body’s insulin producing cells by the body’s own immune system. It is more common in Australia than any other country.
Type II accounts for about 90% of diabetes and is largely described as a lifestyle disease because it occurs in people who do not exercise and are over-weight.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and foreshadows increased risk of developing DM later.
Pre-diabetes is a condition which increases risk of developing diabetes later in life.
Symptoms of diabetes
Some types of diabetes have no symptoms, and can go undiagnosed for a long time, but some common symptoms can include:
- being more thirsty than usual
- passing more urine
- feeling tired and lethargic
- slow-healing wounds
- itching and skin infections, particularly around the genitals
- weight loss
Complications of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes may cause no symptoms and the person may not feel unwell. However if blood sugar levels remain high and are not controlled it is likely to cause the following complications sooner.
- kidney damage (nephropathy)
- eye damage (retinopathy) leading to blindness
- nerve damage to the feet and other parts of the body (neuropathy)
- heart disease (for example, angina or heart attacks),
- circulation problems in the legs
- sexual difficulties, including erectile dysfunction
- foot ulcers or infections resulting from circulation problems and nerve damage.
With optimum control of diabetes, these occurrence of above complications may be avoided or minimised. For any further information or advice please speak to your doctor.
For further details go to better health website http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/