The focus of diabetes care is well established in general practice, with practice nurses taking on much of the responsibility for diabetes management. The white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say talks about high quality care being delivered to patients close to where they live. So, in the future, general practice can expect to take on more responsibility for conditions such as diabetes. This article discusses the priorities for the newly diagnosed patient, and the importance of sound advice and guidance in the early stages.
People at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can reduce their chances of getting the condition by more than 80% by completing a new education programme, according to a new study from the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
A new European position paper recommends that patients with type 2 diabetes should be prescribed physical activity to control blood sugar and improve heart health. The position paper from the European Association of Preventive Cardiology provides practical recommendations on how to motivate patients to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, set achievable and measurable goals, and design individualised exercise training programmes.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the UK in people of working age. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the retina become blocked, leaky, or grow haphazardly. There are usually no obvious symptoms, making the condition difficult to detect until it is well advanced. However, irreparable damage has been done by this time. This article outlines the importance of screening for early detection of retinopathy, and reviews the targets set in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Diabetes Priorities document (2003) regarding annual retinal screening tests.
Renal disease is common and is increasing in prevalence as the main risk factor for impaired kidney function – diabetes – affects more people. Approximately 30% of patients with type 2 diabetes develop some degree of nephropathy, with some ethnic groups at even higher risk. Diabetes is now the largest single cause of end-stage renal disease in the UK, accounting for 30–40% of all cases. The very early stages are asymptomatic and the disease process develops slowly over 15–20 years, so early screening and prevention strategies are paramount in reducing the burden of renal failure. Primary care nurses are well placed to play a pivotal role in this process.