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George Practice

3 Trefoil Square, Gloucester Ln, George Central, 6529

Opening Hours

Mon - Thu: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 3pm
Sat - Sun: CLOSED
24 Dec - 2 Jan: CLOSED

044-874-2741

George
Fax : 044 874 6299

admin@drsvanderspuy.co.za

George
Feel free to contact us

Diabetes

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.

What is the pancreas and what does it do?

The pancreas is an organ that sits behind the stomach and releases hormones into the digestive system. In the healthy body, when blood sugar levels get too high, special cells in the pancreas (called beta cells) release insulin. Insulin is a hormone and it causes cells to take in sugar to use as energy or to store as fat. This causes blood sugar levels to go back down

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas. No, or very little, insulin is released into the body. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence, but can develop in adulthood.

Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. Meal planning also helps with keeping blood sugar at the right levels.

Type 1 diabetes also includes latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), the term used to describe the small number of people with apparent type 2 diabetes who appear to have immune-mediated loss of pancreatic beta cells.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t properly use the insulin that is released (called insulin insensitivity) or does not make enough insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. About 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes more often develops in adults, but children can be affected.

Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, it may be managed through physical activity and meal planning, or may also require medications and/or insulin to control blood sugar more effectively.

There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate diabetes.

diabetes

Signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change (gain or loss)
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health-care provider right away. Even if you don’t have symptoms, if you are 40 or older, you should still get checked.

It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.

 

Symptoms of diabetes in children

Diabetes affects children of all ages. Most children who develop diabetes do not have a family history of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes in your child could include:

  • Drinking and going to the bathroom more frequently than usual
  • Starting to wet the bed again
  • Lack of energy

If you think your child might have diabetes, see a doctor today.

Diagnosis of diabetes

Speak with your doctor and ask him or her to test you for diabetes using one of the following tests. The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is measured in mmol/L.

Fasting blood glucose

You must not eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours before this test. A test result of 7.0 mmol/L or greater indicates diabetes.

Random blood glucose

This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 11.0 mmol/L or greater, plus symptoms of diabetes, indicates diabetes.

A1C

This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 6.5 % or greater (in adults) and in the absence of factors that affect the accuracy of the A1C indicates diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

You will be given a special sweetened drink prior to this blood test. A test result of 11.1 mmol/L or greater taken two hours after having the sweet drink indicates diabetes.

A second test must be done in all cases (except if you have acute signs and symptoms). Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education.

 

What are the complications of diabetes?

Having high blood sugar can cause diabetes-related complications, like chronic kidney disease, foot problems, non-traumatic lower limb (leg, foot, toe, etc.) amputation, eye disease (retinopathy) that can lead to blindness, heart attack, stroke, anxiety, nerve damage, and erectile dysfunction (men).

Diabetes-related complications can be very serious and even life-threatening. Properly managing blood sugar levels reduces the risk of developing these complications.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body.

Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in the endocrine system. Hormones travel through the bloodstream to the tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it.

Hormones are important for regulating most major bodily processes, so a hormonal imbalance can affect a wide range of bodily functions. Hormones help to regulate:

  • metabolism and appetite
  • heart rate
  • sleep cycles
  • reproductive cycles and sexual function
  • general growth and development
  • mood and stresslevels
  • body temperature
  • changes in blood pressure
  • changes in heart rate
  • brittle or weak bones
  • changes in blood sugar concentration
  • irritability and anxiety
  • unexplained and long-term fatigue
  • increased thirst
  • depression
  • headaches
  • needing to go to the bathroom more or less than usual
  • bloating
  • changes in appetite
  • reduced sex drive
  • thinning, brittle hair
  • infertility
  • puffy face
  • blurred vision
  • a bulge in the neck
  • breast tenderness
  • deepening of the voice in female

 

Everyone will experience natural periods of hormonal imbalance or fluctuations at particular points in their life. But hormonal imbalances can also occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly.

Hormonal imbalances in women

Women naturally experience several periods of hormonal imbalance throughout their lifetime, including during:

  • puberty
  • menstruation
  • pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding
  • perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause

Women are also at risk of developing different types of hormonal imbalance disorders than men because they have different endocrine organs and cycles.

Medical conditions causing irregular hormonal imbalances in women include:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • early menopause
  • primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • ovarian cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Cushing’s or Addison’s disease

 

Symptoms of hormonal imbalances in women include:

  • heavy, irregular, or painful periods
  • osteoporosis(weak, brittle bones)
  • fatigue
  • hot flashes and night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • breast tenderness
  • indigestion
  • constipationand diarrhea
  • acneduring or just before menstruation
  • uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation
  • increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, or back
  • infertility
  • weight gain
  • thinning hair or hair loss
  • skin tags or abnormal growths
  • deepening of the voice

What can I do if I think I have a hormonal imbalance?

Hormone testing consists of an easy blood test where hormone levels are checked.  This can be ordered by any general practitioner.

Treatment

Treatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. Every person may require different types of treatment for hormonal imbalances.

 

Book your consultation today (o44) 874 2741 or complete out online form

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Hours

  • Mon - Thu8:00 - 17:00
  • Fri8:00 - 15:00
  • Sat - SunClosed
  • HolidaysClosed
  • 24 Dec - 2 JanClosed
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Welcome! We are two dedicated doctors offering a full-service family practice situated in the centre of George on the beautiful Garden Route. We are eager to optimize the health of patients in and around George, as well as the surrounding area. Our doctors collaborate in order to meet the health needs of the whole family, from baby-care to care of the elderly, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. We regard our role as being family doctors, concerned with care and support to each member of the family. Being familiar with the personal and family history of each patient, ensures that we will be able to give high quality care and service.

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