GPs in North Kirklees are urging local people to get behind the Diabetes UK National Diabetes Week, which runs from 14 to 20 June.
This year, the focus is to remind everyone that they are not on their own when it comes to diabetes. Throughout the week, information will be coming out about all of the ways you can get advice and support if you have diabetes including guidance on managing the condition. There will also be an opportunity for people with diabetes to share their hints, tips and stories of living life to the full via Twitter using the hashtag #DiabetesAndMe.
Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing people living in the UK. When diabetes is not well managed it can lead to serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations.
Stephen Ryan, Diabetes UK Regional Manager said:
“As everyone living with diabetes knows, managing the condition can be tough and overwhelming. There is strong evidence that giving people the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes effectively can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce their risk of developing devastating complications. Beyond the clear health benefits this will also go a long way to reducing NHS costs.”
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body stops making insulin and usually appears before the age of 40. It is the less common type – only around 10% of people with diabetes have type 1. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes require regular insulin injections to keep their glucose levels normal.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian people, who are at greater risk, it often appears from the age of 25. It is also increasingly becoming more common in children, adolescents and young people of all ethnicities.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90% of all people with diabetes and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this, medication and/or insulin are often required.
Dr Nadeem Ghafoor, a local GP and member of the NHS North Kirklees Clinical Group (CCG) Governing Body said:
“To reduce your risk of developing diabetes, the best thing you can do is to eat healthily and to increase the amount of physical activity you do. Small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference.
“It’s vital for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to take steps to help manage their condition. Reducing the amount of sugary and fatty foods they eat, eating smaller portions and increasing the amount of exercise they do in a way that their doctor has approved can significantly reduce the symptoms of diabetes.”
There are a number of symptoms which can indicate the onset of type 2 diabetes, including feeling thirsty, urinating more frequently than usual – particularly at night, feeling very tired, weight loss and loss of muscle bulk, cuts or wounds that heal slowly and blurred vision (caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry).
Stephen Ryan added: “Managed properly, people with diabetes can go on to live long and healthy lives. This Diabetes Week, we want to let people with diabetes know they are not on their own”.
To find out more about National Diabetes Week visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Get_involved/Diabetes-Week/ and for information about Diabetes visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes/Pages/Diabetes.aspx