October Newsletter 2016

NEWSLETTER October 2016

St Helens & District Group

Welcome to this evening`s meeting, we are delighted to welcome tonight`s speaker, Dr Dan Cuthbertson, who has not spoken at one of our meetings before. Dr Cuthbertson is a Lecturer and Consultant Physician at The University of Liverpool and University Hospital Aintree. He is going to speak to us about the effects that exercise & inactivity can have on our diabetes.

DUK Xmas Catalogues are available at the front, Sorry, I know it`s only October! Just have a look through and you will find a big selection of diabetes-related products, Xmas cards and gifts. If you want to order something, you can visit the DUK online shop at shop.diabetes.org.uk simply submit your order and it will be delivered to your home. Alternatively you can phone 0800 585 088, or post the completed order form at the back of the catalogue. Shopping with DUK helps raise funds to continue the valuable work of helping the 4 million people living with diabetes in the UK.

Congratulations to Dr Niall Furlong on his recent promotion to Clinical Director and Clinical Lead of the Diabetes Unit at St Helens Hospital.

Make sure you don`t become part of a shocking diabetes statistic!  There are now 20 diabetes-related amputations every day in England, many of which could be avoided. Make sure you have your yearly diabetes foot check. Also, across the country, including our area, hospitals are not delivering the diabetes foot Care to inpatients that they should be.  NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), say that everyone with diabetes, that goes into hospital should be getting a foot check on admission, but only 29 percent are actually getting it. This is a big missed opportunity to spot problems early. If you have to go into hospital, make sure you ask about this foot check.

Save the day! This year`s DUK Networking Day will be on Sat 12th November in the University Technical College (UTC) Bolton, Dr Stuart Bootle who has diabetes himself, will be one of the speakers. Dr Bootle has spoken at our meetings in the past and is an excellent speaker. Watch this space for further details.

Winter is coming, so don`t let the flu catch you! Anyone over the age of 65 or with a long-term condition like diabetes can be more susceptible to flu, and its possible complications, such as: bronchitis, pneumonia and raised blood sugar levels.

Now is the time to protect yourself against it. The good news is that people with diabetes are entitled to a free annual flu jab. Book your appointment asap, most GP practices and some Pharmacies are now running special Flu clinics. The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you are protected! If you are between 70 and 79 you are also entitled to an inoculation against shingles.

Access to the Town Hall, if you ever have difficulty accessing the building via the steps, remember there is an alternative entrance with a lift, it is just by the phone box at the front. This is usually open for our meetings, but if it isn`t, you can phone 01744 676 150 and someone will come down and open it.

As we said in the last newsletter, we have been chosen by Sainsbury`s Millfields store as their Local Charity Partner. Some of our Committee members went and held an Awareness Day and collection in the Store last Saturday. We were delighted by the generosity and level of interest of many of the customers. We managed to raise over £80 to help fund our meetings, and we also gave out lots of info to the customers.

15 Healthcare Essentials. Having the right care is vital for everyone with diabetes. This list shows the min. level of healthcare that we should all expect. If you don`t think you are getting them all, then take the list to your Diab Healthcare Team, and discuss it with them.  Help yourself to one of the lists and one of the explanation sheets at the front. DUK has recently updated them, to include: getting an annual flu jab, being able to get help for sexual problems, access to blood test strips and advice on weight management. To find out more about these recent additions, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/15-essentials

Do you have Diabetes and Coeliac Disease? Coeliac Disease is more common with people who have Type 1 Diabetes, because they are both autoimmune conditions. Between 2 - 10% of people with Coeliacs will also have Type 1 Diabetes. For further info take one of the sheets from the front.

You don`t still buy foods labelled as “suitable for diabetics” do you? DUK has been lobbying for years to remove these labels from products. Manufacturers have now been banned from labelling foods in this way. “Diabetic foods” are often as high in fat and calories as standard products , sometimes even higher, and they can also have a laxative effect!

Take care of your kidneys, Kidney disease (nephropathy) can happen to anyone, but if you have diabetes you`re more at risk. Here`s how we should try to lower them. Attend all your medical appointments, try and keep your blood sugars, cholestorol & blood pressure levels within your target range (if you`re not sure what this is, ask your Dr or Nurse). If you smoke, get help to stop, eat a healthy balanced diet – low in fat, sugar and salt with plenty of fruit and veg, keep active and have a urine test for protein, and a blood test to measure your kidney function at least once a year.

Statins and grapefruit- a reminder! There is a known interaction between grapefruit and statins that can cause serious side effects, such as muscle disorders and liver damage. If you are taking statins (to lower your cholesterol levels) it is best to avoid grapefruit completely.  Atorvastatin interacts with grapefruit juice if you drink large quantities (greater than1.2 litres daily), but an occasional glass is thought to be safe. If you`re on simvastatin, the grapefruit increases the level of it in the blood, thus making side effects more likely. If you really want to eat grapefruit ask your Doctor about alternatives, like rosuvastatin, fluvastatin and pravastatin.

How do you dispose of your sharps? The safe way is in a sharps bin, supplied and emptied free of charge by your Local Council. If you live in St Helens, phone the Council on 01744 456789 and ask for a sharps bin. If you live in Knowsley you will need to be referred by a Healthcare Professional, ask them to phone; 0151 443 2400 on your behalf.

Details of next meeting:-

Date . . . . . . Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 7.30pm.

Subject . . . . Misconceptions about diabetes and food

Speaker . . . . Lara Wessels, Diabetes Advanced Dietitian. St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.