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October 9 2023Read more
June 12th-June 18th is Diabetes Awareness Week in the UK. But how much do you know about this condition that so many people deal with in their daily lives?
There are currently over 4.3 million people in the UK with diabetes, and the NHS have previously reported that without action being taken, a staggering 9% of the UK population (5.5 million people) could have diabetes by the year 2030.
Here’s what you need to know for Diabetes Awareness Week 2023.
The most common symptoms of diabetes are as follows:
It’s also important to remember that people may be diabetic and experience none of these symptoms.
Insulin plays an essential role in how glucose (or sugar) enters our blood cells and helps our bodies to control sugar levels. People with diabetes struggle to produce enough insulin, which is created in the pancreas, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
While there’s no main cause of diabetes, it’s commonly associated with obesity, family medical history, and a physically inactive lifestyle.
Type 1 diabetes causes the sugar levels in your blood to become too high as the body can’t produce insulin. This is usually treated with insulin to help control glucose levels. Age and weight aren’t usually factors in this type of diabetes.
People with Type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but not enough to control the levels of sugar in the blood. It’s a lifelong condition that affects over 3 million people in the UK. If not addressed, it can lead to long-term health issues with your eyes, heart, and limbs.
Gestational diabetes can occur in pregnancy, usually due to genetics or changes in hormone levels. Antenatal appointments during the first few months of pregnancy will usually test for this.
Being diabetic comes with its challenges, but that doesn’t mean people can’t still live fun and fulfilling lives. Like many other conditions, it’s all about learning how to manage it while continuing to do the things you love.
It doesn’t matter if you’re learning about diabetes for yourself or to support someone you care about. What matters most is that you’re helping to spread the word and reduce the chances of people facing this condition alone, without the help of healthcare professionals and loved ones.
Talking about concerns regarding diabetes, or any other condition, is the first step towards better mental health and wellbeing. It’s always okay to admit that you need support. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme with us, don’t hesitate to reach out and speak to our counsellors in a safe and confidential space.
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