This week is Diabetes week in England and we are trying to raise awareness of this completely preventable disease. There has been a rapid increase in pre -diabetes over the past few years and experts predict a surge in type 2 diabetes in the next few years
Diabetes occurs when the body loses the ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood. This can happen because the pancreas doesn’t make enough of the hormone, insulin, or if the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly. This is known as insulin resistance. We all need glucose to power our bodies processes. Insulin helps the glucose that we ingest, to enter our cells and it plays a vital role in managing glucose levels in our blood. When you become diabetic the levels of glucose in the blood stays high, which can lead to long-term complications, such as problems with your eyesight and kidneys, to name a few.

Type 2 diabetes, usually develops in people over the age of 40, but it can occur earlier in some ethnicities and sometimes even in children. Age, poor diet and being overweight or smoking are all risk factors and the symptoms can range from frequency of urine, usually at night, increased thirst, extreme fatigue,to generalised itching or thrush.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes come on gradually and are easy to miss. If you think you have risk factors or indeed symptoms you can do a simple risk assessment on the website and if you are worried or have suspicious symptoms, it is best to see your doctor.

In people with pre diabetes their are usually no symptoms, but blood sugar levels tend to be on the high side. Around 10% of patients with pre- diabetes, will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. It is important to realise that this condition is preventable in about 80% of cases.

The best thing to do would be to look at your risk factors. If you are at risk see your doctor and get your fasting blood sugar levels tested. If these are high and you have risk factors you could reduce that risk by increasing the amount of exercise you do, changing your diet to a more healthy one and losing weight. Small changes can prevent you from getting a chronic disease, so now is the time to act. Be diabetes aware!