Raising awareness of diabetes

This Diabetes Week, which takes place from 11 to 17 June 2018, local GPs and diabetes specialists are raising awareness of the support available in Newham, the symptoms to look out for and the things that people can do to reduce their risk of developing the disease. 

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in a person’s blood is too high because their body cannot make enough hormone called insulin, or when the insulin they produce does not work properly. 

There are almost 3.7 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes of which 90% have Type 2 Diabetes and the remaining 10% have Type 1 diabetes which generally effects younger people has a rapid onset and requires insulin injections An estimated 12.3 million people are also at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, with obesity the leading cause in the majority of preventable cases.    

The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include: 

  • passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
  • increased thirst
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
  • slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • blurred vision 

If you have any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your GP. Early diagnosis, treatment and good control of diabetes can help to reduce the chances of developing serious diabetes complications in the future. 

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. But up to 80 per cent of cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by making simple changes in our everyday lives – such as eating healthier, getting more active, quitting smoking or limiting your alcohol intake. 

Dr Prakash Chandra, chair of Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said “If you experience any of the symptoms associated with diabetes, you should speak to your GP. It might not be anything serious, but if it is diabetes, the earlier that you start to take control of your condition the better. 

“Being diagnosed with diabetes can feel overwhelming, but help is close to hand. If you are at all worried about your diabetes, don’t hesitate to speak to your GP. 

“It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone. Support groups can be a great help and can give you the opportunity to express how you’re feeling in a safe space and connect with others in a similar position.” 

Find out more about diabetes and how to prevent and manage the condition at https://www.diabetes.org.uk/