Annual diabetes checks highlighted in awareness week

More than 115,000 people aged over 17 in Lancashire and South Cumbria are living with diabetes – and the percentage of children estimated to be at risk of diabetes is around nine per cent.

This Diabetes Awareness Week (June 10-16), the NHS in the region is highlighting the seriousness of the disease and the various health checks those with diabetes should have each year to monitor their condition.

Diabetes can cause other health problems that can become serious if not picked up and monitored or treated in the early stages. So regular diabetes health checks – sometimes called a yearly or annual review – are part of the routine NHS treatment.

As part of their annual review, people with diabetes should have:

  • A blood test to check blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and kidney function
  • A urine sample to check for kidney damage
  • A foot check
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) measured
  • Blood pressure measured
  • A diabetic eye check.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes isn’t linked to age or being overweight, but results from an autoimmune destruction of the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for around 90 per cent of all diabetes, develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

Dr Lindsey Dickinson, associate medical director for primary care at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: “Diabetes is a major public health concern, and its prevalence is increasing nationally. It’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible because Type 2 diabetes, while preventable through making some lifestyle changes, will get progressively worse if left untreated.

“Everyone living with diabetes should have certain checks and appointments when they’re first diagnosed, to make sure you understand your condition and can live well with diabetes. Then every year, you should have a series of checks as well as a review and update of your agreed diabetes management plan with your GP or healthcare team.

“Even if you otherwise feel fine, these regular diabetes health checks are vital to keep you healthy and keep your diabetes under control.”


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