People with diabetes urged to monitor health

Some may be delaying health appointments
  • Deborah Condon

People with type 2 diabetes are being reminded of the importance of closely monitoring their health and seeking medical advice if they have any concerns about their condition.

The call came from the national charity, Diabetes Ireland, ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14. It wants to raise awareness about the importance of looking after yourself if you have type 2 diabetes, in order to reduce the risk of experiencing diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease and diabetic retinopathy.

Currently in Ireland, around 200,000 people are living with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Ireland is teaming up with Today FM presenter, Matt Cooper, to mark World Diabetes Day. Mr Cooper developed type 2 diabetes two years ago and admits that it was a shock to him at the time.

"It was something of a shock to discover that I wasn't invulnerable to becoming ill, and that this is a lifelong condition that I will have to manage for fear of suffering very serious consequences if I don't," he explained.

He pointed out that while management of the condition is possible, "it isn't necessarily easy, no matter how motivated I am".

"There are always new things I need to learn about the condition and how to deal with it. Plenty of information helps and then acting upon it, which is why I'm delighted to get involved in supporting this year's campaign," he noted.

According to the Diabetes Ireland research manager, Dr Anna Clarke, Mr Cooper's diabetes journey "will resonate with so many people in the diabetes community, who may be struggling to adjust their lifestyle at this time".

She urged people who are due a check-up, or who have any concerns, to seek help from the relevant healthcare professional.

"We fear people are choosing to delay visiting their GP or hospital diabetes team in the belief that they are helping those professionals cope with the pandemic, or from a fear of contracting Covid-19, but in doing so they may be risking their own diabetes health as their problem escalates. So it is vital to seek medical attention early and be treated and reassured," Dr Clarke said.

The charity advised people with diabetes to continue to self-manage their condition through healthy eating, taking regular physical activity, checking their blood glucose levels if advised to and taking their medications as prescribed.

Meanwhile, Diabetes Ireland will be hosting a free webinar on November 19 with consultant endocrinologist at Dublin's Connolly Hospital, Prof John McDermott. Prof McDermott will be discussing care of type 2 diabetes with a focus on knowing and reducing your risk in the middle of the pandemic. The webinar will run from 7-8pm. To register to attend, click here.

For more information on anything diabetes-related, call the Diabetes Ireland helpline, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, on (01) 842 8118, or click here.

*Pictured is Today FM presenter, Matt Cooper.


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