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Seeing diabetes differently

Seeing diabetes differently
10 June 2019

This Diabetes Awareness Week (10-16 June) we're asking people to #SeeDiabetesDifferently by starting to change the conversation and improving understanding of the condition and how it feels to live with it.

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1: Where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. 
  • Type 2: Where the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin.

Diabetes can increase the risk of getting serious problems with your eyes, kidney, heart and nerves.

Dr Sinead Clarke, local GP from the CCGs, said: “Living with diabetes is complicated. There are so many factors to consider and this can be really stressful but you shouldn’t need to put your life on hold.

“Making very simple changes to your diet, weight and the amount of physical activity you do can reduce your risks of developing diabetes. Make sure you are taking a good amount of exercise - aim for at least 2.5 hours week.

“Try to replace snacks like crisps with healthier alternatives such as fruit. Limiting your alcohol consumption and not smoking will also reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

“Diabetes doesn’t just affect you physically, it can affect you emotionally too.

“Telling people you have diabetes can be difficult but it’ll help your friends and family understand what you’re going through. If you are feeling low and struggling to cope, you might need to get psychological help. Contact your GP to find out what help is available. You can call the Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399 for advice on all aspects of living with diabetes."

Diabetes and its complications cost £8.8 billion every year to treat, and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. According to Diabetes UK there are around 4.7 million people in the UK living with diabetes. Around 90 per cent of people in the UK with diabetes have type 2 diabetes and about eight per cent have type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes UK Know Your Risk tool calculates your risk of diabetes and instantly emails you practical tips and lifestyle advice. For more information on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, including what you can do to prevent it, visit: Diabetes UK websiteNHS website or the Healthier You website. The Diabetes UK Helpline can offer specialist information and advice on all aspects of living with diabetes on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.