Local NHS colleagues are promoting the upcoming Diabetes Week which takes place this year between 12 – 18 June.
Diabetes Week is all about supporting those people who are living with diabetes but also highlights symptoms for those who might not be aware.
Symptoms can affect anyone – adult or child. But some symptoms are more common. Symptoms for type 1 diabetes can come on really quickly and sometimes can be more noticeable in children than in adults, we call them the 4T’s:
- Toilet – going for a wee a lot, especially at night
- Thirsty – Being really thirsty and not being able to quench it
- Tired – Feeling more tired than usual
- Thinner – Losing weight without trying or looking thinner than usual
Having some diabetes symptoms doesn’t mean you definitely have the condition, but you should always contact your GP, just to make sure.
Are you managing your diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious condition, if left untreated and poorly managed, it can lead to life changing chronic complications, such as vision loss, kidney failure, amputation, heart disease and strokes.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle (healthy eating, regular exercise and having a healthy body weight, not smoking) and keeping your blood sugar levels under control, you can reduce the risk of chronic and acute complications of diabetes.
A variety of education programmes are available to support you to manage your diabetes and achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Speak to your healthcare team about education support available in your area or access free digital education programmes today on these links:
Adults with Type 1 www.mytype1diabetes.nhs.uk
Adults with Type 2 www.healthyliving.nhs.uk
Children and Young People with Type 1 www.digibete.org.
If you would like help with achieving personal healthy lifestyle goals, go to the link www.norfolk.gov.uk.ready-to-change. This is a free tool that can help you with small changes and choose healthy habits.
If you would like support with stopping smoking, there are services to help you, if you live in Norfolk please visit www.smokefreenorfolk.nhs.uk or Suffolk www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk/services/stop-smoking
If you would like support with losing weight, you may be eligible for the free 12-week NHS Digital weight management programme www.england.nhs.uk/digital-weight-management/how-to-access-the-programme or other weight management support offered through the websites www.norfolk.gov.uk/ready-to-change for Norfolk residents and www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk for Suffolk residents.
Do you know what regular diabetes care your healthcare team offer?
If you are living with diabetes, it is advisable to have an annual review to check for any signs that your diabetes may be causing damage around your body. Early detection of any problems arising means that your healthcare team can make sure you are offered the treatment you need to reduce the chances of long-term complications.
Testing your urine is a very important part of your annual health check, if protein is found in your urine it is a very early sign that something may not be quite as it should be.
Speak to your healthcare team about your annual health checks and contact your health care team if you do not think that you have had a health check in the last 12 months.
Find out more about annual health checks at www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/care-to-expect
Do you know how diabetes affects feet and how to help avoid complications?
Having diabetes means you’re at much greater risk of developing foot problems. But understanding how diabetes affects feet can help you avoid these complications.
A serious foot problem is when damage to your foot means it needs emergency attention. Having diabetes means that you’re more at risk of serious foot problems and someone with diabetes is 20 times more likely to experience an amputation, especially if diabetes control is poor and if immediate attention has not been sought for a foot problem.
It’s good to take time out to sit down and have a proper look at your feet every day. If you notice any changes such as a dull ache, or shiny, smooth skin on your feet or legs, or that you feel unwell you should do something about it straight away.
If you notice any of these changes, see your local foot team urgently:
- changes in the colour and shape of your feet
- cold or hot feet
- blisters and cuts that you can see but don’t feel.
- foul smell coming from an open wound
Find out more at www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/feet
Dr Clare Hambling, Specialty Advisor for diabetes in NHS Norfolk and Waveney said:
“This week it’s Diabetes week where are reminding local people of the importance of the condition. If it is left untreated and poorly managed, it can lead to life changing complications, such as vision loss, kidney failure, amputation, heart disease and strokes.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle and keeping your blood sugar levels under control, you can reduce the risk of complications.
There are now free digital health programmes that you can self-refer on to. It’s really simple and can be accessed by signing up at mytype1diabetes.nhs.uk for Type 1 or healthyliving.nhs.uk for Type 2.”
- For more information about the campaign on the Diabetes UK website: www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-week
- Find out more at www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/diabetes-symptoms