What is Diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes (type 1 and type 2). People with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough of a hormone called insulin, this is produced in the pancreas. Insulin controls the level of glucose (sugar) in your body. This means the level of glucose in your blood becomes too high. It is often diagnosed in childhood and is a life long condition. They must take insulin daily to control their blood glucose levels. 

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle. People with type 2 diabetes have ‘insulin resistance’. This means that their body does not respond normally to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common with approx. 1 in 17 people having a diagnosis. It is likely to develop as you become older or are overweight.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • thrush that keeps coming back
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and grazes that are not healing.
  • fruity smelling breath

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and grazes taking longer to heal

If you are experiencing any of the of the above symptoms or are worried that you may have diabetes, contact the practice to arrange an appointment.

What is Pre-Diabetes? 

Pre diabetes is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes to be made. People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a higher risk of heart disease. 

Making simple lifestyle changes is the most effective way of reducing the risk of pre-diabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Managing your weight

Managing and losing weight will help reduce your blood glucose level. Try to lose weight by cutting down on fatty foods and keeping as active as possible.

  • Reduce your intake of sugar and sugary foods
  • Increase your intake of high fibre foods and wholegrain
  • Reduced your fat intake, especially saturated fat
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • eat regular well portioned meals 
  • try to include five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • avoid skipping meals
  • try to evenly space out your meals throughout the day – this will help control your appetite and blood glucose levels

Regular physical activity will help manage your weight, lower your cholesterol and reduce your blood glucose levels. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, this should be moderate intensity and something that makes you slightly breathless.

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You need to seek professional support and make a clear plan before you stop smoking. Ask one of our patient care advisors to refer you to the local smoking cessation service.


Include starchy carbohydrates with meals

Carbohydrates are an important part of our diet as they provide us with a main source of energy as well as being a source of vitamins and fibre. Most carbohydrates are digested and absorbed as glucose into our bloodstream resulting in a rise in our blood glucose levels. Try to include starchy carbohydrates with your meals as these do not effect blood glucose levels as much as they are absorbed slowly. Sugary foods are absorbed very quickly.

Types of starchy carbohydrates:

  • Pasta
  • New potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Pulses e.g. kidney beans, lentils, baked beans
  • Porridge oats, natural muesli and all-bran cereals
  • Grainy breads e.g. granary, rye
  • Basmati or easy cook rice

To help maintain the health of your digestive system and prevent other problems such as constipation, You should try to include high fibre varieties of starchy food. All the different types of carbohydrates will be digested into sugar so it is also important to limit your portion sizes.

Cut down the fat you eat

Fat is the greatest source of calories so cutting down the amount of fat, especially saturated fats, you eat will help you lose weight. Choosing unsaturated fats and oils are better for your health and your heart.

  • choose low fat dairy products
  • grill, steam or oven bake your food rather than frying or roasting in oil
  • use low fat margarines and cooking oils
  • choose leaner cuts of meat or trim off excess fat/skin
  • avoid hidden food with hidden fats, such as pastries, biscuits, cakes and pies

Many foods that are labelled as low fat often contain high amounts of sugar, and foods labelled low in sugar can he higher in fat. It is best to try and keep a healthy balance so using the food labels can help you make appropriate choices.

It is recommended both men and women do not consume more that 14 units of alcohol per week and allow at least two alcohol free days a week. It is advised that women drink no more than 2-3 units a day and men drink 3-4 units a day.

Alcoholic drinks are higher in calories so it is best to choose low calorie/sugar-free/diet mixers.

Diabetes Management

If you are diagnosed with diabetes the GP will arrange to speak with you about your test results and your diagnosis. You will then be asked to come in to see one of our primary care practice nurses to make your diabetes care  management plan. 

Once you are affectively managing your condition the practice will continue to offer annual diabetes reviews, this may be sooner for some patients depending on their agreed diabetes care management plan.

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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar(glucose) that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin to meet your extra needs in pregnancy. It can happen at any stage of pregnancy but is more common in the second or third trimester.

Gestational diabetes does not usually cause any symptoms. Most cases are only discovered when your blood sugar levels are tested during screening for gestational diabetes.

Some women may develop symptoms if their blood sugar levels get too high, such as:

  • increased thirst
  • needing to pee more often than usual.
  • a dry mouth
  • tiredness
  • blurred eyesight
  • genital itching or thrush

Some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy and are not necessarily a sign of gestational diabetes. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you’re worried about any symptoms you’re experiencing.

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re at an increased risk if:

  • you are over 40.
  • your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 – use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI.
  • you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lb) or more at birth.
  • you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
  • 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes.
  • you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean, or Middle Eastern origin (even if you were born in the UK)
  • you have had a gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgery.

If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.

Find out more about gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes | Causes and symptoms | Diabetes UK and Gestational diabetes – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

fußpflege, podologie, medizin

Patients diagnosed with Diabetes are urged to contact the Podiatry department for diabetic foot screening or expert assistance regarding foot issues like ulcers, blisters, open sores, and numbness. Kindly reach out to the podiatry department on 01925 946682 to book an appointment.

Forums, Blogs and Apps

  • Diabetes.co.uk forum – discussions about living with and managing diabetes.
  • Diabetes UK blogs – a collection of blogs on work and diabetes, food, eyes and more
  • Diabetes Chat – scheduled chats with healthcare professionals or just the chance to talk to others
  • NHS Apps Library – find apps and tools to help you manage your diabetes, including some that link you to a lifestyle coach.


Diabetes UK hold regular meetups.

Find a Diabetes UK support group near you

It’s also worth asking your diabetes team if they know of any local groups.


Diabetes helpline

Diabetes UK has a confidential helpline for questions about day-to-day management.

Call: 0345 123 2399 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Email: [email protected]