I hope that I might be excused for once again raising the concerns I have over the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes for people at risk of the disease in the Solomon Islands.
I have repeatedly stressed I am not a doctor and try, as often as I can, to find medical news that I can share in the hope that preventive measures might help to reduce people getting the disease at an early stage.
My preoccupation also continues for the former patients of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) having had limbs amputated due to surgery and who need artificial limbs to aid their mobility and re-adjustment to normal daily activities including working opportunities.
A 20 foot modular building donated to the NRH after an appeal I raised locally was taken up by the Board of the SFA who procured the container type facility overseas, shipped it to the NRH when it was handed over last September.
The purpose was to see the modular structure fitted out as a Rehabilitation Workshop to enable artificial limbs to be made and custom fitted to the hundreds of awaiting amputees.
The previous workshop was demolished due to infestation from termites and white ants.
The NRH has not made use of the gifted modular building for the purpose it was designed for and I am reliably informed it remains to be mounted on concrete footings before some additional modifications can be made.
I am told the NRH has no funds to do the work needed and has approached the SFA to see if more help can be given to get the required work started, given the MHMS has devoted all financial resources to the ongoing battle in keeping coronavirus at bay.
Meanwhile it has been claimed as many as six or more amputations are taking place each week at the NRH as a consequence of diabetes and the number of limbless needing help continues to grow.
Given such a background and my deep concern for limbless ex-NRH patients, let me quote the latest medical news published today in the UK’s Daily Express newspaper and contributed by Adam Chapman.
Type 2 diabetes means your body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar - the main type of sugar found in blood - can inflict damage on the body if left to rise uncontrollably. The resulting damage doubles up as the first perceptible warning signs of type 2 diabetes for most people.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Denise Kingsley-Jones, Founder and CEO of The Olive Trust, Wales, outlines the warning signs of blood sugar damage.
According to Kingsley-Jones, these include:
Going to the toilet more at night
Feeling thirsty all the time
Losing weight without trying to
Itchiness especially in the genital regions
Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
Dark patches on the skin
Numbness or pain in the hands and feet
"Further signs of damage can include dehydration - from going to the toilet too much, dizziness, fainting and fatigue," she warned.
According to Kingsley-Jones, vision can become impaired with loss of partial or total sight due to lack of fluids over time and high blood sugar levels.
Although not as common as those with Type 1 Diabetes, a loss of weight can also signal a dangerous complication, she warned.
A loss of weight can indicate ketoacidosis, a complication whereby sugar utilisation is poor but the body needs energy and starts to break down fat and muscle, she explained.
According to Kingsley-Jones, this fat breakdown is dangerous and releases ketones making the blood more acidic.
Ketones are a type of chemical that your liver produces when it breaks down fats.
How do I know if I'm at risk of type 2 diabetes?
According to Kingsley-Jones, the warning signs are obesity, or being overweight with visceral fat around the middle.
Visceral fat, which is stored near vital organs in the body, is linked to insulin dysfunction.
"At first, you may have pre-diabetes whereby your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, although you would not be aware of this," explained Kingsley-Jones.
"Therefore, getting a health check with your GP and asking for a blood test will determine whether you are at risk."
According to Kingsley-Jones, weight and genetics play a role in the development of type 2 Diabetes also.
"So, regular checks, if you have a family history are recommended, as well as if you are overweight, or experiencing any symptoms," she said.
How it is diagnosed
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else.
"However, you should see a doctor straight away if you have any symptoms of diabetes," advises the health body.
To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, you usually have to go through the following steps:
See a doctor about your symptoms.
The doctor will check your urine and arrange a blood test to check your blood sugar levels. It usually takes about one to two days for the results to come back.
If you have diabetes, the doctor will explain the test results and what will happen next.
According to the NHS, what a doctor will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.
Generally, they'll talk to you about:
What diabetes is
What high blood sugar means for your health
Whether you need to take medicine
Your diet and exercise
Your lifestyle - for example, alcohol and smoking.
"The doctor will do their best to discuss the diagnosis with you, but this first appointment might only be 10 to 15 minutes.”
End of quote.
I very much hope the information I have shared about Type 2 diabetes will enable anyone considering they might be at risk from the disease going to the NRH or provincial hospitals for a check -up for prevention is better than a cure