GP’s Festive Advice for Diabetes Patients

A Manchester GP is advising people who have diabetes to take steps that will help them stay well over the festive period and winter months.
Anyone with diabetes faces a potential double-whammy – traditional festivities that involve rich food and alcohol can affect their glucose levels; and their condition makes them prone to serious complications if they catch common winter illnesses such as flu or the vomiting bug Norovirus.
Dr Naresh Kanumilli is a practising GP from South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and also the Clinical Network Lead for Diabetes in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria.  He sees many people who are living with the condition.
Dr Kanumilli, said: “Eating, drinking and socialising are all part of the fun at Christmas, and there is no need for people with diabetes to miss out.  But the last thing they want is end up in A&E.
“Healthy diet is important and healthier versions of classic Christmas snacks are a good idea such as olives or dried fruit.  Alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks will also helpAnd keeping active is also important.
“At some point during the festive period those with diabetes may find they have higher blood glucose levels than normal. While one or two high readings shouldn’t affect long-term diabetes control, letting their blood sugars remain high can mean that they feel unwell. Also, people should watch out for low readings as this can also make you feel ill and patients should seek help.”
Diabetes also affects the immune system and can make sufferers more susceptible to complications if they catch common winter viruses such as flu and Norovirus.
Dr Kanumilli added: “If you have an upset stomach and want some advice, your local pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medicines that you can take.  But it’s also important to have your flu jab, because you are at risk of complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis if you catch the flu virus.
“Anyone with diabetes can have a free flu-jab.  To get yours phone your GP practice to get an appointment.  Some pharmacies are also offering the flu jab this year for people with long-term conditions.”
For more information about Diabetes, visit the Diabetes UK website www.diabetes.org.uk and the NHS Choices website http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/diabetes/Pages/diabeteshome.aspx.
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For more information please contact NHS Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit on 0161 212 4885 or email communications.gmcsu@nhs.net.
Notes to editors
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are NHS organisations led by local GPs and other health care professionals who are responsible for deciding how the local health budget is spent.
There are three CCGs in Manchester: North Manchester CCG, Central Manchester CCG and South Manchester CCG.
All GP practices in the city are members of one of these groups. They are responsible for planning and paying for services within each area. This includes planned hospital care such as operations, rehabilitation services, urgent and emergency care and most community services such as district nursing or physiotherapist, mental health services and learning disability services.