World Diabetes Day 

12/11/2013 00:00 
To mark World Diabetes Day on 14 November, anyone passing through the main foyer at University College Hospital (9am-12pm) can have their blood glucose tested, be weighed and have their waist circumference measured. 

Symptoms of diabetes include thirst, passing urine frequently, tiredness and thrush but worryingly 1 in 2 people with diabetes don’t know they have it because they don’t have any symptoms at all.  Some people have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to family history, ethnicity, age, being overweight and/or inactive, certain medications and those who had diabetes in pregnancy.

Jakki Berry, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Diabetes, University College Hospital added: “There are currently around 300 million people worldwide with diabetes with numbers increasing at alarming rates.  Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness and kidney disease but these and other complications can be reduced with early diagnosis and treatment. 

“Most importantly there needs to be a focus on prevention of type 2 diabetes to halt this epidemic . Those at risk should discuss what they can do to reduce with their GP or practice nurse.”

Education is important as diabetes is lifelong and impacts on many aspects of life and requires adjustments to be made.  Most importantly there are many lifestyle changes that can be made which can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. 

There are different types of diabetes but the most common ones are type 1 diabetes which is autoimmune and no insulin is produced, and type 2 diabetes where insulin is produced but is less effective. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle. Changes should be made to lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as reducing salt, fat and sugar in the diet, reducing alcohol consumption, losing weight and increasing exercise.  A 30 minute daily walk is beneficial.

World Diabetes Day is co-ordinated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and has become a globally-celebrated event to increase awareness about diabetes.
The theme for this year is diabetes education and prevention and is in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses in the UK and worldwide.


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