Genetic factors

Researchers studying identical twins and the family trees of patients with diabetes have found that heredity is an important factor in both kinds of diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, there is about a 50 per cent chance of the second twin developing the condition ifthe first one has it, and a 5 per cent chance of the child ofan affected parent doing so. With type 2 diabetes, it is virtually certain that if one of a pair of identical twins develops the condition, the other will also do so. It is...

How does diabetes affect your kidneys

One-third of people with type 1 diabetes and 10-20 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes develop kidney disease after living with diabetes for 15 years or more. To understand how this complication develops, you need to know a little bit about the structure and function of the kidneys. The kidneys maintain the body's internal environment by controlling its fluid and electrolyte levels, and by removing its waste products. Each kidney contains approximately one million microscopic units called...

What about interacting with other people

This chapterwill discuss interacting with other people, not just family, friends and colleagues, but also the many health-care professionals involved in your diabetes care. Having diabetes is not exactly something you want to shout from the roof tops, in fact you can feel like hiding it completely. But there are some people who need to know and others who can support you more if they do.' You interact with many people every day and you will certainly want to be able to deal with any...

Negotiating goals

The main objective of any diabetes care programme is to provide a service that encourages partnership with you in any decisions that are made about your diabetes, supports you in managing your diabetes, and helps you to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so that you will have choice and control over what happens to you at each step of your care. An agreed, negotiated, shared care plan, with specific goals and objectives, set out in a format and language appropriate for you, is therefore...

Diabetes and alcohol

Most people with diabetes drink alcohol and it is perfectly safe to do so. However, it is important to be aware that if you are treated with insulin, alcohol makes the occurrence of a hypo more likely and this increased risk continues for some time after you stop drinking. When someone has a hypo a number of hormones are produced that make the liver release glucose into the bloodstream. If that person has drunk some alcohol, even as little as two pints of beer or a double measure of spirits,...