Don’t dither on diabetes: reduce your risk, know the signs and seek help without delay

11 June 2018

Know the signs of diabetes and seek help right away if you notice any symptoms – that’s the message from GPs in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (BHR).

Almost 3.7 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with the Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 cases can be delayed or prevented by making simple lifestyle changes – such as eating healthier, getting more active, quitting smoking, or limiting alcohol intake.

An estimated 12.3 million people are at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, with obesity the leading cause in the majority of preventable cases.

This Diabetes Week (11-17 June), doctors are urging people to be aware of the underlying causes of Type 2 diabetes, to recognise the symptoms, and seek advice and support at the first warning sign.

The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include:

  • passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
  • increased thirst
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
  • slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • blurred vision

If you have any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your GP. Early diagnosis, treatment and good control of diabetes can help to reduce the chances of developing serious diabetes complications in the future.

Dr Anju Gupta, a local GP and a clinical director for diabetes at BHR Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said:

“If you experience any of the symptoms associated with diabetes, you should speak to your GP without delay. It might not be anything serious, but if it is diabetes, the earlier you start to take control of your condition, the better.

“Being diagnosed with diabetes can feel overwhelming, but help is close at hand. If you are at all worried about your diabetes, don’t hesitate to speak to your GP.

“It’s also important to remember that you can delay or stop the onset of diabetes by making some simple changes to your lifestyle: maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and cutting out smoking and alcohol will help reduce your risk.”

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types:

  • Type 1 – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 – where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

Find out more about how to prevent and manage diabetes at www.diabetes.org.uk/