What is diabetes awareness week and why is it important?
From the 12th to the 18th June, a charity called Diabetes UK will launch a number of campaigns to celebrate those who live with diabetes and to raise awareness of the life-changing condition. The charity will publish inspiring stories about the lives of diabetics, encourage people to be more active with the One Million Step Challenge and provide “diabetes essentials” posters for individuals and organizations.
Founded in 1934 by the writer H.G.Wells and Dr. R.D. Lawrence, who were themselves diabetics, Diabetes UK provides support and technology to sufferers of diabetes and funds research alongside their main aim of raising awareness for the medical condition.
Health experts predict that diabetes is likely to become a major problem for the UK population in the future. As well as becoming very serious in it’s advanced stages, diabetes can also contribute to other health problems like strokes and dementia.
In the UK currently there are 4.6 million Type 1 sufferers and an estimated 12.3 million people are potential type 2 diabetics. This number will increase unless more people are made aware of the problem.
If you, or someone you know is worried about diabetes, contact your local GP for advice or follow this link for more information: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/
What is diabetes?
Below are descriptions of the two most common types of diabetes. If you would like to know more, follow the link provide above :
Type 1 diabetes means that your body is unable to make a hormone called insulin which allows you to process sugar. Sufferers of Type 1 diabetes usually take injections of insulin and monitor their blood sugar levels either by taking tiny blood samples or more recently by using a computer chip placed in their body. Not treating type 1 diabetes can ultimately lead to death. Fewer than 1 in 10 people have type 1 diabetes and there is nothing you can do to stop yourself from getting it. If your mother or father has this condition, then you are at a slightly higher risk of developing it yourself.
Type 2 diabetes means that either your body is unable to make insulin, or the insulin it makes does not work properly. Diabetes can be managed in some measure with diet and exercise, and some sufferers take insulin or a drug called metformin. Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, though it is more common in certain ethnic groups.
se with diabetes in their family and there are strong links with obesity. Some ethnicities can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is very important to manage type 2 diabetes as not doing so can lead to serious health problems like the loss of limbs and blindness.
What to look for and how to avoid it
The American Diabetes Association lists the following as the most common signs of diabetes:
· Urinating often
· Feeling very thirsty
· Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
· Extreme fatigue
· Blurry vision
· Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
· Weight loss—even though you are eating more (t 1)
· Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (t 2)
There is nothing you can do to avoid type 1 diabetes, but having a balanced diet and being active can help in avoiding type 2 diabetes. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your GP.