People in Havering, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham are being encouraged to ‘know the signs’ of diabetes to ensure they receive the treatment and support needed to help them manage the condition.
Most of us will have heard of diabetes and many will know someone with the condition. However, it’s estimated that nearly one million people in the UK have diabetes and don’t know it. Ahead of World Diabetes Day (14 November 2018), GPs across the local boroughs are emphasising the importance of an early diagnosis in helping to manage your health.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. About 90 per cent of people diagnosed with the condition have type 2 diabetes which is often linked to being overweight. This means there are steps that we can take to reduce our risk of developing the condition. Making simple changes in our everyday lives – such as eating a healthier diet, being more active, quitting smoking or limiting our alcohol intake – can help us maintain a healthy weight and thereby reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – For more information see Change 4 Life
Flu can be serious for people with diabetes and can make it harder to manage the condition, as it can destabilise blood sugar levels. This can in turn increase the risk of developing more severe illnesses, such as pneumonia, or suffering a stroke or kidney disease. Therefore, people with diabetes are eligible for the free NHS flu vaccination, so knowing you have the condition can be vital in protecting yourself against the virus this winter.
Dr Anil Mehta, a local GP and Chair of NHS Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It’s important to recognise the symptoms of diabetes as that will enable us to ensure more people with the condition are diagnosed and receive the treatment and support they need. If you do get diagnosed, you are not alone as there are support groups and professional one-on-one support available if you’re finding things difficult to cope with.”
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should speak to your GP as soon as you can.
- Going to the toilet (passing urine) more often than usual, especially at night
- increased thirst
- extreme tiredness
- unexplained weight loss, or increasing weight gain
- genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
- slow healing of cuts and wounds
- blurred vision.
It might not be anything serious, but if it is diabetes, the earlier you start to take control of your condition the better as this will help you manage your health.
For more information on World Diabetes Day visit the World Diabetes Day website www.worlddiabetesday.org