Diabetes Prevention Week – Dr David Crichton

This week is both Diabetes Prevention Week and Mental Health Awareness Week and I’d like to focus on diabetes as I have talked at length about mental health in previous blogs already this year.

In the U.K, there are 12.3 million people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes which is a huge number. The good news though is that for many people there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Diabetes Prevention Week aims to help as many people as possible be aware of their risk and learn more about diabetes. The joint campaign from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, runs from 10–16 May 2021 and you can hear public and health professional stories if you follow #PreventingType2 activity on social media.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. This means your blood glucose (sugar) levels keep rising.

Around 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2. It is serious condition and can be lifelong. If left untreated, high sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage parts of your body, including your eyes, heart and feet. These are called the complications of diabetes. But with the right treatment and care, you can live well with type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of developing them.

When you have type 2 diabetes your body can’t get enough glucose into your cells, so a common symptom is feeling very tired. There are also other symptoms to look out for. These include feeling thirsty, going to the toilet a lot and losing weight without trying to.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop more slowly than the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, making the condition harder to spot. That’s why a lot of people don’t get any symptoms, or don’t notice them.

Some people also don’t think the symptoms are important, so don’t ask for help. This means some people can live for up to 10 years with type 2 diabetes before being diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active.

You can take a quick online quiz to find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes by using the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk’ tool at www.riskscore.diabetes.org.uk. If your score comes back as ‘at risk’, sign up to your free local Healthier You programme via self-referral or, if you think you or a family member may be at risk, I would encourage you to speak to your GP for advice.

If you are interested in finding out more about Type 2 Diabetes you can take part in a webinar on Thursday 13 May 2021 at 5pm. For full details and joining instructions visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/diabetesprevention-week.


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