Today is World Diabetes Day, created to raise awareness for diabetes across the world.
Around 700 people are diagnosed every day in the UK, that’s 1 person every 2 minutes! This shows how prominent the condition is in the UK, and how important it is to raise awareness for the condition. There are several different types of diabetes, the main 2 are Type 1 and Type 2, other types include: pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, juvenile diabetes and more.
Type 1 is normally a hereditary condition, diagnosed in early childhood years and treated with insulin injections. Whereas Type 2 is developed due to lifestyle and dietary habits and is usually treated with metformin tablets; but can also be treated with insulin, or simple diet changes, depending on the severity of the condition. It is possible, through dietary and lifestyle changes, to cure Type 2 diabetes; however unfortunately, Type 1 diabetes is currently incurable.
Some common symptoms of diabetes are:
- Frequent urination – especially at night
- Increased thirst
- Extreme tiredness
- Rapid unexplained weight loss
- Blurry vision
These are just a few of the symptoms diabetics may experience, and symptoms will vary with each type of diabetes. There are a few different things you can do to help manage your diabetes, or if you have Type 2 diabetes, possibly cure it. These include:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke or drink
- Eat 5 fruit or veg a day
- Exercise regularly
Unfortunately, diabetes can have serious effects on your body if left untreated or with poor management of the condition. Some diabetes related complications that you can have are:
- Increased risk of heart conditions (heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure etc.)
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Kidney damage (kidney disease, kidney failure)
- Eye problems (glaucoma, cataracts etc.)
- Hearing problems
- Skin problems
Long-term complications develop gradually, and if caught early can be treated and managed, however they can eventually become disabling or even life-threatening. If you suffer from diabetes you should have regular diabetic check-ups, mainly to measure your blood sugar levels (HbA1C) but also to check if your condition has developed any complications. If you suspect that there is something wrong, you should talk to your doctor as they will be able to support you with any necessary treatment.
As well as medical support, it is possible that you may want emotional support, or possibly just want to find people like you who also have diabetes. If you, or someone you know, is affected by diabetes, our partner Diabetes.co.uk has a whole host of information, resources and forums to help you with anything you may need. This includes medical support, helpful recipes and diets, new updates and more.