Diabetes - outpatients
Diabetes is a long term condition. Often you will not have any symptoms related to your diabetes, but years of experience has shown us that high blood glucose over time can result in complications affecting either your small blood vessels (microvascular) of large blood vessels (macrovascular).
Small blood vessels supply your eyes (retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy) and nerves (neuropathy). We know that if we can safely reduce your average blood glucose (HbA1c) to less than 42mmol/mol, we will lower those risks. For that reason we recommend you have eye screening, and will suggest a urine sample at your appointment, and an examination of your feet, that will involve a visual inspection, and an examination of your sensation.
Unfortunately diabetes puts you at higher risk for heart disease, strokes and poor circulation in your legs (macrovascular). Whilst we know lower blood glucose reduce the risk of microvascular complications, there is less evidence to support that this reduces your risk for macrovascular complications. For that reason we pay special attention to your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. We may suggest medication to lower either your blood pressure or cholesterol.
We also know that patients with diabetes are more susceptible to sexual dysfunction. This can include erectile dysfunction. We will be more than happy to discuss these issues with you at your appointment.
Please take the opportunity to use the appointment to raise any questions you may have. Often there are treatments to help you with the management of your diabetes.