This year Diabetes Week (10 - 16 June 2019) provides an opportunity to increase the public’s understanding of diabetes in general.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition and currently affects around 3.7 million people in the UK with an estimated 1 million more people living with it who don’t know they have it as they have not been diagnosed so it’s important for everyone to know as much about the condition as possible.
There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. With Type 1 diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin, a hormone produced to keep blood sugar levels form becoming too high or too low. With Type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. In both types of diabetes, this leads to high blood sugar levels which can lead to severe complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and blindness, if not managed properly, and there is a useful risk tool on the Diabetes UK web site that can be used to find out your risk (https://www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore).
Dr Sami Ozturk, Clinical Lead for Diabetes for the Mid & South Essex Diabetes STP, said: “Locally across the Mid & South Essex STP footprint there are around 5,200 people who are living with Type 1 diabetes, and around a further 55,800 people living with Type 2 diabetes, and it is thought that around 60% of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented with the early identification of people at risk of developing it in the future, so it is really important that we raise awareness and support people and their families to manage their condition.
“Diabetes Week is not just about raising awareness though it’s also about understanding how it feels to live with it. The theme of this year’s Diabetes Week is to ‘See Diabetes Differently’ as everyone is different, and we want everyone to see diabetes differently. Having an understanding of diabetes is key to helping people live better, and that’s why we are celebrating Diabetes Week all week by sharing the Diabetes UK ‘Five Facts of Diabetes’ to help reach as many people as possible.”
Diabetes UK Five Facts:
- One in 15 of us live with diabetes.
4.7 million people in the UK have diabetes (including the 1 million who don’t know they have diabetes) – that’s more than cancer and dementia combined. Chances are lots of people you know are living with diabetes.
- There are different types.
Type 1 and Type 2 are the two main types of diabetes. There are rarer types too. What they all have in common is they raise sugar levels in blood. And that can seriously damage the body. But why they happen and how they’re treated varies.
- Anyone can get it.
Why people get diabetes is complicated. Some things increase your risk of developing it, from genetics and ethnic background to gender, age and lifestyle factors. But sometimes it isn’t clear why people get it. Anyone can get diabetes, at any time. It doesn’t discriminate
- It’s not just tablets or injections.
It’s so much more than that. Every day involves a thousand little questions, decisions and things to remember. It’s appointments, checks, calculations, what you eat. It’s your care on your shoulders. It’s knowing things won’t always go to plan. It’s day in, day out. It never stops. It’s relentless.
- It never stops, but you don’t have to either.
When you’ve got diabetes, just getting through the day can be a monumental achievement. But it doesn’t mean life stops. People have become professional athletes, topped the charts and ruled the country with diabetes. It might make life harder but it doesn’t have to change your ambitions or adventures.