Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 3.3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 590,000 people who have the condition, but don’t know it.
Diabetes is a common hormonal problem that if untreated or poorly managed can lead to complications such as kidney problems, heart problems, visual impairment and other disorders. In severe cases, diabetes can cause kidney failure, amputation, blindness and stroke, which could otherwise have been avoided.
Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), is typically developed as a child or young adult, and is a disease that destroys pancreatic cells meaning no insulin production is possible.
Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) is considerably more common and typically affects people over the age of 45, who are also overweight. Those suffering from type 2 are unable to produce enough insulin causing sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
The good news is that diabetes can be managed, not only through medication but diet too, and it starts by taking responsibility for your health.
Diabetes UK aims to raise awareness throughout the week about all of the ways they can give support and advice as well as the chance to learn more about the symptoms to help you and your loved ones manage the condition.
Knowing the facts about diabetes is important when it comes to managing the condition, there is so much information out there, but it is not all true. It is often difficult to know what is right and what is not, so now is the perfect opportunity to learn! Below are a few myths that we can help dispel:
- Having diabetes does not mean you have to have a sugar-free diet. People with diabetes should follow a healthy balanced diet – that is low in fat, salt and sugar. You should still be able to enjoy a wide variety of foods, including some with sugar.
- There is no such thing as mild diabetes. All diabetes is serious and, if not properly controlled, can lead to serious complications.
- Having diabetes should not stop you from keeping active. However, if you are unsure about monitoring your blood sugar levels, please seek advice from your GP.
To find out more information and to see if you might be at risk, visit https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk
or try the NHS Choices website for further information https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes/Pages/Diabetes.aspx