Health chiefs are urging residents in Norfolk and Waveney to learn more about the symptoms of diabetes and what to look out for in a bid to help prevent more people developing the condition.
This Monday 14 November is World Diabetes Day, which aims to shed light on Type 1 diabetes in order to support people to identify the symptoms and seek help early. The awareness day also encourages people to know the risks of Type 2 diabetes and take action early to help prevent the condition.
More than 12 million people in the UK are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – a lifelong condition that affects day-to-day wellbeing and poses a significant risk to health including heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, amputations, and miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women.
Within Norfolk and Waveney, just under 68,000 people live with diabetes, and over 65,000 of these are living with Type 2 diabetes which can often be prevented or delayed.
Dr Clare Hambling, GP Clinical Lead for Diabetes at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that not only affects the day-to-day lives of tens of thousands of people in Norfolk and Waveney, but it also increases the risk of life-changing health complications if not managed well or left untreated.
“Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed, however. Eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and being regularly active are important lifestyle behaviours that will reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Use the Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool at https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/ to help you understand and manage your risk of developing Type 2. If your score comes back as ‘at risk’, speak to your GP practice and ask about the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme in Norfolk and Waveney.
And if you have already been diagnosed with Type 2, following these healthier lifestyle behaviours will help you to self-manage your condition and greatly reduce the risk of longer-term health complications.”
In addition, this World Diabetes Day campaigners are also supporting those living with Type 1 diabetes and raising awareness of the common symptoms to help people identify the disease early.
Undiagnosed, Type 1 Diabetes can make someone very ill and very quickly. Knowing the signs could avoid a medical emergency and save lives. Know the 4Ts to identify someone who may have undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes:
- Toilet – going for a wee more often, especially at night.
- Thirsty – being constantly thirsty and not being able to quench it.
- Tired – being incredibly tired and having no energy.
- Thinner – losing weight without trying to, or looking thinner than usual
If you or a family member is showing any of these symptoms, contact your GP surgery straight away, call 111 for advice, or go to A&E if the symptoms are getting worse.
Educational resources for those living with Diabetes
There are useful educational resources available for people living with Diabetes. The My Type 1 portal provides information and resources to help increase understanding and confidence in self-management of Type 1 diabetes. The NHS’s Healthy Living portal is a free online NHS service for people living with type 2 Diabetes. It provides knowledge and information that supports people to manage their condition.
Diabetes UK has also developed a short video called Diabetes Symptoms – Signs of all types of Diabetes to help people recognise the signs of diabetes and raise awareness of the symptoms so people can get help early.
Show your support for Diabetes
This World Diabetes Day, Diabetes UK is encouraging people to paint their fingernails blue on Wednesday 14th to raise awareness of diabetes and help fund more life-changing research breakthroughs. Find out more about how to take part by visiting their Nailing Diabetes fundraising page.