Diabetes Awareness Week

25th April 2023

Diabetes Awareness Week

Diabetes week will run from 23-28th May 2023.

Diabetes awareness is important as it can educate people on possible signs and symptoms. It can also help with reducing the risk of developing the illness.

More than 5 million people in the UK are currently living with diabetes and around 850,000 could be living with diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed. This number grows by 150,000 each year.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition where the blood glucose level is too high. It can happen when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces isn’t effective. Or, when the body can’t produce any insulin at all.

Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). In the long-term, high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

Symptoms may include: High blood glucose also leads to health problems such as:
·         Frequent urination

·         Increased thirst

·         Increased tiredness

·         Unexplained weight loss

·         Genital itching or thrush

·         Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal

·         Blurred vision

·         Heart disease

·         Stroke

·         Kidney disease

·         Eye problems

·         Dental disease

·         Nerve damage

·         Foot problems


Types of diabetes

The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. However there are many more, the rarer types would include type 3c and Latent Autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

Type 1 – when the immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. As a result, the body doesn’t make insulin. Type 1 is usually diagnosed in childhood, although it can appear at any age.

Type 2 – when the body doesn’t make or use insulin well. Type 2 can be developed at any age, even during childhood, though most often it is diagnosed in middle/older adults.

Gestational – develops in some women during pregnancy. Most often, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, there are greater chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

What is pre-diabetes?

Some people may have a blood sugar level that presents as higher than normal, however not high enough to be classed as type 2 diabetes. This is known as pre-diabetes. This means you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and making some lifestyle changes may help to prevent or delay a diagnosis.

 How to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes?

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by:

  • Eating well – maintaining a balanced diet
  • Moving more – being more physically active
  • Getting support to lose weight, if you need to

Approximately 3 out of 5 cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed!

Further Information & Support

For further information and resources about diabetes please refer to Diabetes UK website. Also, don’t forget to check out the B Well website for some useful resources. The B Active and Eat Well sections include links to sources of support such as being physically active, eating a balanced diet and weight loss.

For more information on the resources and programmes offered by the Health Improvement Team please visit our page here.