Diabetes Prevention week May 20th to May 26th 2024

Posted by: devon - Posted on:

Diabetes Prevention Week 2024 runs from 20-26th May

What is diabetes and why is prevention important?

Diabetes is a serious condition where the blood glucose level is too high. It can happen when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces isn’t effective. Or, when the body can’t produce any insulin at all. In the long-term, high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

Diabetes awareness plays a pivotal role in addressing the challenges posed by this chronic condition. Raising awareness helps to understand the risk factors associated with diabetes, promotes early detection, and encourages lifestyle changes that can prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

Types of diabetes

The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. However there are many more, the rarer types would include type 3c and Latent Autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

Type 1 – when the immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. As a result, the body doesn’t make insulin. Type 1 is usually diagnosed in childhood, although it can appear at any age.

Type 2 – when the body doesn’t make or use insulin well. Type 2 can be developed at any age, even during childhood, though most often it is diagnosed in middle/older adults.

Gestational – develops in some women during pregnancy. Most often, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, there are greater chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision 

High blood glucose also leads to health problems such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye problems
  • Dental disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Foot problems
Some people may have a blood sugar level that presents as higher than normal, however not high enough to be classed as type 2 diabetes. This is known as pre-diabetes. This means you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and making some lifestyle changes may help to prevent or delay a diagnosis.

How to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes?

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by:

  • Eating well – maintaining a balanced diet
  • Moving more – being more physically active
  • Getting support to lose weight, if you need to

Approximately 3 out of 5 cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed!

Further Information & Support

For further information and resources about diabetes please refer to Diabetes UK website.

National Webinars – free for patients to book