February 2018 Newsletter

St Helens & District Group

NEWSLETTER   February  2018

Welcome to the first meeting of 2018. We would like to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!  We are delighted to welcome a new speaker to our meetings, Claire Williams, who will be talking to us about Driving with Diabetes. Claire is the Group Liaison Officer from the NW Office of DUK, and she has very kindly come along to talk to us instead of Jess Graham, who is on Maternity Leave. We would like to pass on our Congratulations and Best wishes to Jess, who had a baby girl last month!

For further information about Driving with Diabetes, help yourself to one of the leaflets from the front called “Getting behind the wheel”.

Meeting suggestions It`s that time of year again when we need to start planning our new programme of meetings. Please help us by writing any ideas for future topics you would like us to cover, on the slips of paper on the chairs, and leave them on the table as you go out. Thanks!

We can all help St Helens CCG to save money and reduce drug wastage,  by supporting their Waste Not, Want Not Campaign. It`s simple, just check what medications you already have at home, before re-ordering. Don’t stockpile medication, it will just go out of date. Wasted medicines are costing St Helens NHS over £1 million per year! Remember, even if you don`t get your health care from St Helens CCG, the same advice applies to Knowsley, Wigan and Liverpool CCG or any other! Only order what you need! Then this money can be saved and used to improve our local NHS. For more information see the cards at the front.

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to label produce as “Diabetic Foods”

The term was banned in 2016 after DUK had been lobbying for over 30 years to remove these labels from food. If you ever happen to see any foods that are still labelled in this way, don`t be tempted to buy them as they are often as  high in fat and calories as standard products, sometimes even higher, and they often have a laxative effect too!

Diabetes UK Helpline can provide specialist information and advice on all aspects of living with diabetes. Get in touch for answers, support and advice, or just to talk to someone who knows about diabetes. To contact them, phone 0345 123 2399 between the hours of 9am to  6pm, Mon – Fri. Or email them at helpline@diabetes.org.uk.

Warning! - Cold weather and diabetes. People with diabetes who have peripheral vascular disease can develop frostbite if their feet are not warmly protected. This can eventually lead to gangrene and amputation. Also, those injecting insulin need to be aware that it is absorbed more slowly from a cold injection site. Blood flow to the subcutaneous tissue is reduced with cold, and then increases when it warms up, causing unexpected hypoglycaemia as the insulin is suddenly absorbed. For further information on this, contact the Healthcare Professional you see regarding your diabetes, or contact the DUK Helpline.

Do you ever sweat within seconds of eating? Sweating on the forehead, face, scalp, and neck soon after eating, but especially after hot spicy food can be normal and is called Gustatory Sweating. Some people with diabetes have a problem with this. It is often associated  with neuropathy (nerve damage) or nephropathy (kidney damage). One study showed that 69% of people with nephropathy and 36% of people with neuropathy, also suffered from gustatory sweating. This condition can sometimes be successfully treated, so ask your Doctor.

Do you know what the “15 Healthcare Essentials” are? Having the right care is essential for the wellbeing of all people with diabetes. As well as looking after ourselves on a daily basis, there are 15 vital checks and services that everyone with diabetes should get from their  healthcare team on a yearly basis. The 15  Healthcare Essentials are vital for all of us, so we can lower our risks of developing the long term side effects of diabetes. Take one of the cards from the front and if you don`t think you are getting them all, discuss it with your diabetes healthcare team. The figures regarding the uptake of these checks are improving, but at the beginning of 2016 there were still at least 12% of people with diabetes who didn't receive an annual urine/blood test to monitor their kidney function. These tests are very important, as having diabetes means we are at increased risk of kidney problems. In the early stages of kidney disease there are usually no symptoms, this can also be true of retinopathy and neuropathy (damage to the eyes, legs and feet) so the tests are vital to pick up any changes whilst they can still be treated. If you`re not receiving all the vital checks listed, go to www.diabetes.org.uk and search for “What to do if you're not receiving your essential checks”. You can also download the DUK guide, “Are You Really Getting Your 15?” This tells you about each check, and has tips for what you should do if they`ve not all been carried out.

Diabetes and Low Carbohydrate diets, At our last meeting in Nov, Lara spoke to us about this topic. The current evidence suggests that low-carb diets can be safe and effective for people with Type 2 diabetes, they can help with weight loss, glucose management, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. At the moment, there is no strong evidence that a low-carb diet is safe or effective for people with Type 1diabetes, If you would like further info on this, DUK have got a very informative website, simply go to www.diabetes.org.uk and search for “Low Carb Diets”.

Diabetes and Me is a new online feature from DUK, it enables you to find info that is relevant to your diabetes, like favourite recipes etc, and save them. To find out more, simply go to www.diabetes.org.uk/bal-diabetes-and-me There is also another new feature on the DUK website, which is a step-by-step online guide for anyone who has been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, or those who have had it for a while and want a refresher about their condition, and the options and support available to them. There are Factsheets, videos and quizzes to help you to understand your diabetes. You can dip in and out of the modules at any time, so you can learn at your own pace, simply go to Type2diabetesandmeonlinelearning

Details of next meeting :    

Date . . . . .  . . Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 7.30pm.

Subject . . . . . Diabetes Eye Screening

Speaker . . . .  Bob Wilkes, Optometrist, R.D.Wilkes Opticians, Rainhill.

The charity for people with diabetes                                                                       

Diabetes UK is the operating name of the British Diabetic Association                                                                             

Company limited by guarantee.  Registered Office: 10 Parkway, London NW1 7AA

Registered in England, no. 339181 Registered charity no. 215199