Diabetes management

Understanding diabetes 

Most of the food you eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for your body to use for energy.  The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, produces a hormone called insulin.  This hormone is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar or glucose, the basic fuel for cells in the body.  Insulin's role is to take sugar from the blood into the cells.  When your body does not produce enough insulin and/or does not efficiently use the insulin it produces, sugar levels rise and build up in the bloodstream.  When this happens, it can cause two problems:

  • right away the body's cells may be starved for energy
  • over time, high blood glucose levels may damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart

Types of diabetes:

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.  Both types may be inherited in genes, so a family history of diabetes can significantly increase a person's risk of developing the condition.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition that occurs when the pancreas makes little or no insulin.  Without insulin, the body is unable to take the glucose (blood sugar) it gets from food into cells to fuel the body.  So without daily injections of insulin, people with type 1 diabetes won't survive.  For that reason, this type of diabetes is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes was previously known as juvenile diabetes because it's usually diagnosed in children and young adults.  However, this chronic, lifelong disease can strike at any age, and those with a family history of it are particularly at risk.

Health risks for type 1 diabetes

During the development of type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks certain cells (called beta cells) in the pancreas.  Although the reasons this occurs are still unknown, the effects are clear.  Once these cells are destroyed, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, so the glucose stays in the blood. When there's too much glucose in the blood, especially for prolonged periods, all the organ systems in the body suffer long-term damage

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease.  Historically, type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed primarily in middle-aged adults.  Today, however, adolescents and young adults are developing type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate.  This correlates with the increasing incidence of obesity and physical inactivity in this population, both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

This type of diabetes can occur when:

  • the body develops ‘insulin resistance’ and can't make efficient use of the insulin it makes
  • the pancreas gradually loses its capacity to produce insulin

In a mild form, this type of diabetes can go undiagnosed for many years, which is a cause for great concern since untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems, including cardiovascular disease.  Type 2 diabetes may be delayed or controlled with diet and exercise.

St Joseph's News

Welsh International footballer, Jess Fishlock, MBE opens the newly refurbished Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre

3rd March 2021

The outstanding Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre opens its doors to patients and athletes across Wales this week. St Joseph’s purpose-built facility boasts a specialist-led rehabilitation centre which is unrivalled in Wales

Newport's St Joseph's Hospital marks 75 years of care

24th February 2021

Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy receive historic stained-glass window in celebration. February 2021 marks the 75th anniversary of St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport, which was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Annecy

St Joseph’s Hospital opens up 50 new roles at various levels

10th December 2020

Recruitment drive ahead of new £3m day surgery unit St Joseph’s Hospital has started recruiting for 50 new positions across the hospital, ahead of the opening of a new day surgery unit in April 2021

St Joseph’s Hospital transformed with £4m investment. New “state-of-the-art MRI scanner” is unveiled today

14th October 2020

Today, a market leading scanner is unveiled at St Joseph’s Hospital as part of a £1.3m project – the latest stage in a £4m overhaul, which began in February 2020

St Joseph’s Hospital staff rise to pandemic challenge

9th September 2020

Hospitals across the world have had to deal with the complex issues brought about by COVID-19, and St Joseph’s in Newport is no exception. The hospital, bought by a local private investor in February 2020, has been part of the collective effort against the pandemic collaborating in a formal partnership with NHS Wales to support the national response

What can we do to cope with anxiety about the Coronavirus?

4th May 2020

Coping with your feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic? The COVID-19 crisis has produced many unknowns in our lives.     Will I become sick? Will my loved ones contract the virus and end up in a hospital? Will I lose my job?  Will I need to cancel my wedding?  How am I going to cope with the lockdown? Psychologist, Dr Leonie Jones, provides some advice; "All these what-ifs piling on top of one another are a recipe for anxiety and panic

Stuart Hammond, CEO of St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport

St Joseph’s Hospital in collaboration with NHS Wales to fight Coronavirus

9th April 2020

Working in partnership with NHS Wales to fight COVID-19 We are very proud to be part of this collective effort against COVID-19 and have agreed a formal partnership with NHS Wales to support the national response

AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

NASA Engineered Anti-Gravity Treadmill aids rehabilitation

18th February 2020

Whether you have an injury or you're an in-patient receiving post-operative treatment, we offer personalised exercise and rehabilitation programmes at our centre for physiotherapy

Ways to stop embarrassing leaks

2nd January 2020

Leakage is never normal and can be prevented. Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It’s a common problem thought to affect millions of people

Hidden angina check which can identify early warning signs

16th December 2019

Highly specialist scan shows whether arteries supplying blood to the heart are narrowed or becoming blocked. We spoke to Chris, a patient at St Joseph’s who recently had a CT Coronary Angiogram, to ask him a few questions about why he chose to have his heart assessed

Healthy heart and peace of mind

25th November 2019

No waiting times, state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities and professional, friendly staff are just some of the reasons to visit St Joseph's Hospital if you have any concerns about your health

Humanitarian hernia surgery: innovative repairs with “mosquito-net” mesh by renowned surgeon Mr Brian Stephenson

13th November 2019

In rural Africa and other resource-poor areas, elective hernia surgery is often neglected as hospitals are ‘far and few’ and attending surgeons ‘difficult to find’

Hip replacement gives Newport gentleman new lease of life

1st October 2019

In England and Wales approximately 160,000 total hip and knee replacement procedures are performed each year. Medical advances mean that hip replacement operations are now less invasive, and the implants last for longer than ever before

Rapid recovery from ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair

30th September 2019

Wales’ most capped footballer, Jessica Fishlock MBE, has been blown away by the rehabilitation facilities at St Joseph’s Hospital.

A better quality of life

17th September 2019

Acknowledged as a world-class centre of excellence in healthcare, St Joseph’s Hospital offers over 350 treatments across 40 different specialities So why choose to be treated privately? Private hospitals are renowned for their high quality care, stress-free environment and superb hospitality

Why wait for Cataract Surgery?

1st August 2019

St Joseph’s Centre of Excellence for Ophthalmology is offering a free consultation* for patients needing cataract surgery. Sight gives us the freedom to live the life we choose and make independent decisions, so the thought of losing it due to cataracts can be quite scary for anyone

Worried and anxious... don't wait, get seen

1st July 2019

St Joseph’s Hospital offers a comprehensive assessment for those at risk of developing coronary heart disease. Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK – that’s nearly 170,000 deaths each year, an average of 460 deaths each day or one every three minutes in the UK

A-Z of Health: E for Eyes

18th June 2019

Most of us will experience a problem with our eyes at some point in our lives. Mr Michael Andrew Roberts, Consultant Ophthalmologist with St Joseph's Hospital, talks about some of the most common problems, how to spot them and how they're treated

Tackling the rapid rise in stress in the workplace

15th May 2019

Your job can provide a great sense of fulfilment and satisfaction, but if things get too intense it can seriously affect your mental wellbeing. Here, a leading doctor at St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport explains why a good work-life balance is so important

Flaunt your legs with confidence this summer

1st July 2018

Mr David Lewis, consultant vascular surgeon at St Joseph’s Hospital Everyone hopes that summer will be a scorcher. It’s a chance to catch some sun and get your legs out

Holistic Approach to The Menopause

1st June 2018

Dr Isabel Echeveste, private GP at St Joseph’s Hospital advises on health during the menopause. The menopause is a natural development that all women experience as they get older

Expert advice on managing irritable bowel syndrome

1st April 2018

Professor Nadim Haboubi, Consultant Gastroenterologist at St Joseph’s Hospital Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is thought to affect at least 20 per cent of the UK population, leaving many struggling with symptoms including stomach cramps, bloating and sometimes other non-intestinal symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and anxiety

St Joseph’s leads the way with pioneering cardiac diagnostic testing through HeartFlow

14th March 2018

According to research by the British Heart Foundation, an estimated 121,000 people in Wales are living with coronary heart disease. The disease, which is caused by narrowing of the arteries, is the country’s single biggest killer, claiming the lives of more than one in seven men and almost one in 10 women

St Joseph’s launches Fibromyalgia Centre of Excellence.

1st February 2018

What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness. The condition is quite common, with estimates that up to 1 in 25 may be affected

St Joseph’s Hospital celebrates 100,000 patients through its doors since re-launch

12th January 2018

St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport is celebrating 109,564 appointments since the hospital re-launched in October 2015. The figure is a 52% increase on the previous two years, which saw just under 72,000 patients make appointments at the leading private facility

Health assessments are the key

1st January 2018

Take control of your health and wellbeing in 2018 – Dr Vijay Anand, Private GP With the arrival of the new year many of us are setting health and lifestyle goals to keep motivated throughout 2018

New Year resolutions – find the best for 2018

28th December 2017

A NEWPORT doctor has explained what the best and worst New Year’s resolutions are for Argus readers' health. Resolutions are often made with the best intentions, including improving one’s health by losing weight, eating more fruit and veg or exercising more

Quicker and less-invasive diagnosis with HeartFlow

15th December 2017

Diagnosing a blocked or narrowed artery usually involves an invasive procedure called a coronary angiogram. But St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport has become the first in Wales to use a state-of-the-art computer test which eliminates the need for patients to be cut open

Staying well this winter

1st December 2017

Dr Alan Ng, Minor Injuries Centre Manager, St Joseph’s Hospital Over the past decade there has been an increase in demand for both General Practice and Accident & Emergency services

Are you concerned about erectile dysfunction?

1st November 2017

Dr Anish Kotecha, Private GP at St Joseph’s Hospital Most men have occasional problems achieving a sustainable erection. Persistence of the problem can cause stress, a reduction in self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems

How would I know if I have high blood pressure?

1st September 2017

Dr Walberg, head of private GP and corporate wellness at St Joseph’s Hospital, explains what it means to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the force on the walls of blood vessels from the blood within them is more than normal