A 25-year-old diabetes sufferer has highlighted the importance of awareness and education for World Diabetes Day.
Diabetes UK’s new Taking Control campaign highlights the huge difference diabetes education courses can make. These courses can help people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes take better control of their condition, giving them the best possible chance of living long and healthy lives.
Tamarra Neill, 25, from Eastbourne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was ten years old after experiencing some of the classic symptoms such as constant thirst and going to the loo more frequently.
Tamarra attended the Skill for Adjusting Diet and Insulin (SADIE) which is a local education programme for people with type 1 diabetes. The course runs over five days over a five week period and offers participants an opportunity to gain knowledge and learn skills to confidently self-manage their diabetes with no food limitations or restrictions on their daily activities.
She said, “The course enabled me to have a more level playing field with my blood sugar control.
“I am not fluctuating as often as previously, it’s also enabled me to indulge in treats. The SADIE course taught me that I was able to eat when I felt hungry not always when my next insulin injection was due as well as not having to eat so many snacks, even when I wasn’t hungry just because of the level of insulin I was on meant I had to eat a set amount at set times no matter what.
“I am now able to alter my insulin levels accordingly to what I eat, what activity I am doing, when I’m poorly and even having a simple correction dose if I have misjudged my carbohydrate intake instead of waiting for my next structured injection. I also have a better awareness of how my body reacts to the insulin and what levels I need at set times of the day and to the carbohydrate levels, as well as what correction dose level I need when high or ill.”
Jill Steaton, south east regional manager at Diabetes UK, said, “Those who have just been diagnosed with diabetes or who have been living with the condition for some time, can find it difficult to get their heads around how to successfully manage the condition.
“But by attending a diabetes education course, they can instead feel empowered to take control and manage their condition with confidence.
“There is strong evidence that when people with diabetes are equipped with the knowledge and skills to manage their condition effectively, they can improve their quality of life. They can also reduce their risk of developing avoidable complications, such as kidney disease, stroke and amputation. These are not only personally devastating, but also expensive to treat.
“Diabetes costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year, 80 per cent of which is spent on managing avoidable complications.”
Visit www.diabetes.org.uk/taking-control to find out more about diabetes education and how to take part in a course.
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