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Dr Ridsdill Smith provides an insightful look into diabetes & its' complications

On the 27th January, we were lucky enough to attend a talk with Dr. Phil Ridsdill Smith, a partner at the Haslemere Health Centre. He came to speak about Types 1 and diabetes and its’ complications. Some examples could include, hyperglycaemia which is when the large gland behind the stomach (pancreas) can't respond properly to the insulin that is being produced. The diabetic's glucose levels would then become high. Unlike type 1, type 2 is the resistance to insulin more than the fact that it is not produced. Some of the contributing factors to type 2 are weight gain and inactivity, however, this does not mean that you need to be obese to have type 2. Along with this, you get complications such as diabetic retinopathy which means that the diabetic can go blind or have blurred vision as a result of a burst/ leaking blood vessel at the back of their retina. High sugar levels cause this damaging to the back of their eye and if not treated, could cause permanent blindness. This can occur in anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The majority of type 1 diabetics are younger males, however, this does not stop females from developing type 1 if it is placed in the genes. Type 2 generally occurs in people over 45 (typically men) who are overweight and inactive.

Upon further thought, I decided to ask a few questions about diabetes to a friend of mine. Jake is a 15 year old male who has type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at the age of 9. His mother (a doctor) noticed him acting differently and decided to get him tested for diabetes. The results came back positive and he was started on medication. He has been used to using insulin injections but now he is currently using a monitor. He will check his blood sugar levels a minimum of 5 times per day and will inject himself whenever he eats. Some common symptoms he gets when his levels are high are becoming thirsty, grouchy/ sleepy and having a poor concentration. When his levels are low, he starts to walk oddly and have eye blurriness. From the talk with Dr. Ridsdill Smith, we know that these are common symptoms however, every diabetic is different. For example, when you have low sugars, most diabetics would shake however, Jake starts to walk oddly (almost staggering). As for exercise, his blood sugar drops thus he carry sweets around with him which he can eat at anytime.

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