Most people have heard of diabetes and 3.5 million people in the UK have been diagnosed, with a further 549,000 living with the condition but unaware of it. Despite this diabetes is still very much a misunderstood condition.
Dr Ben Moore, a Lincolnshire GP, said: “Symptoms of diabetes can include passing urine more often than usual, especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, general itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts and wounds, and blurred vision.
“If you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your GP practice.
“Early diagnosis, treatment and good control of diabetes can help to reduce the chance of developing serious diabetes complications in the future.”
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells, or the insulin produced does not work properly.
Dr Moore explained: “About ten percent of all adults with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes, whereby the body is unable to produce any insulin. This is treated with daily insulin doses and a healthy diet and regular physical activity can also help.
“Type 2 diabetes develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin or when the insulin produced does not work properly, which is also known as insulin resistance. Around 90 percent of adults with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes and it usually appears over the age of 40, although it is becoming more common in adolescents and young people.”
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but up to 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by making simple lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, becoming more active, and limiting your alcohol intake.
Dr Moore concluded: “The earlier you start to take control of diabetes the better. Being diagnosed can feel overwhelming, however, your GP practice can help. “There is a lot of information available on diabetes and websites like the Diabetes UK one include a lot of useful information designed to help.”