A Calderdale GP is urging people to check whether they are at risk of diabetes as part of World Diabetes Day today (November 14).
The theme of the worldwide event from 2014 to 2016 is ‘Healthy Living and Diabetes’, and Dr Steven Cleasby, diabetes lead at NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, says it is important that people are aware of the signs of diabetes and steps they can take to prevent it.
“We have seen a rapid increase in the number of people suffering with the disease in recent years, particularly in Type 2 diabetes which is related to lifestyle factors, so it is vitally important that people understand what steps they can take to avoid the condition,” he said.
“Diabetes, which affects the way the body processes sugar, can be caused by unhealthy living, such as lack of exercise and being overweight or obese, and can lead to a wide range of health problems.
“World Diabetes Day has an important role in raising people’s awareness so I would ask people to find out more about the condition and how to protect themselves and their families.”
Approximately 9,000 people in Calderdale are knowingly living with the disease but about 3,000 more are thought to have Type 2 diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed.
Type 1 diabetes, previously called “juvenile” diabetes, or “insulin dependent diabetes”, is a disease in which the body stops making insulin, while the more common Type 2 diabetes, related to obesity is where the body becomes resistant to insulin.
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
Feeling very thirsty
Urinating frequently, particularly at night
Feeling very tired
Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over weeks or even days. Many people have Type 2 diabetes for years without realising because early symptoms tend to be general.
People over 40 years of age are encouraged to attend for their “NHS health check”, which looks for diabetes amongst other conditions, and can contact their GP practice for details. If you think you have symptoms of diabetes then make an appointment with your practice nurse or GP or speak to your pharmacist.