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3 17 Care of People with Metabolic Problems


  • The prevalence of overweight and obesity, together with their associated complications including diabetes mellitus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is increasing
  • As a general practitioner (GP) you should have an understanding of how common endocrine or metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid or reproductive disorders can present.  You must also be aware of rarer and important disorders such as Addison’s disease, which can be potentially life-threatening if missed
  • Biochemical tests can be diagnostic and often necessary for monitoring metabolic and endocrine diseases, so it is important for GPs to know which tests are useful in a primary care setting and how to interpret these tests and understand their limitations
  • GPs should appreciate the health and medical consequences of obesity including malnutrition, increased morbidity and reduced life expectancy, and have an understanding of the social, psychological and environmental factors underpinning obesity [1]
  • GPs should understand the role of good diabetes management in prevention and/or postponement of associated morbidity and mortality
  • All GPs should be competent in the recognition and primary care management of metabolic and endocrine emergencies

Knowledge and skills guide

This section contains the learning outcomes for the 'Care of People with Metabolic Problems' curriculum module.

These are grouped into 12 core areas of competence concerned with the tasks you will undertake as a general practitioner when delivering care to people in your community.

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Case discussion

This section contains a scenario and questions for reflection which help to illustrate the learning points in this module.

Mrs Jones is 46 years old and has struggled with her weight for many years. Despite numerous diets, she has never managed to achieve sustained weight loss and is obese with a BMI of 36. She has a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus was diagnosed three years ago.....     

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How to learn this area of practice

This section includes suggested activities and strategies for developing the competences you will require.     

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Useful learning resources

This section provides suggestions for further reading and other resources to help you in your training, including books, journal articles and web resources.     

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This section lists references which have been used in the development of the curriculum.     

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