Spot the symptoms of diabetes during Diabetes Awareness Week

Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide, and its prevalence is on the rise. In Lancashire there are more than 63,000 people with diabetes, and in the UK, over 4 million individuals are living with diabetes, with around 90% of them having Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes can be avoided with simple lifestyle changes. Early recognition of the symptoms of diabetes is crucial in preventing complications and improving health outcomes.

Lindsey Dickinson, associate medical director for primary care with Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, emphasised the significance of diabetes awareness. She said: “Recognising the symptoms of diabetes at an early stage can make a significant difference in managing the condition effectively. Increased awareness allows individuals to seek medical advice promptly, leading to earlier interventions and better control over their diabetes.”

Symptoms of diabetes may vary, but common indicators include:

  • increased thirst and urination,
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • fatigue,
  • frequent infections, and
  • blurred vision.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak to your GP practice nurse. People over the age of 40 may also be invited for an NHS Health Check, if you are invited then please do go for it as blood tests are taken during the check and these may detect diabetes risk early.

In Lancashire and South Cumbria the NHS provides a number of interventions to help prevent diabetes and programmes of support that can help put Type 2 diabetes into remission.

If you already have diabetes, the week is about celebrating successes and highlighting the steps you can take to manage your condition. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and making informed choices, individuals can effectively manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.

Here are a few tips for managing diabetes:

  • Maintain a balanced diet: Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages.
  • Stay physically active: Engage in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, as it helps control blood sugar levels and improves overall well-being.
  • Monitor blood sugar levels: Regularly monitor blood glucose levels as advised by your healthcare provider and make appropriate adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Take prescribed medications: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding medication usage and ensure timely refills and renewals.
  • Seek support: Join support groups or connect with others living with diabetes to share experiences, gain knowledge, and receive emotional support.

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