Seven ways to spot the signs of diabetes

People in Gloucestershire are being urged to check for signs of type 2 diabetes as it is revealed that almost one in ten people in the county could develop the condition by 2030.

Currently, there are about 31,000 patients with type 2 diabetes – which is almost enough to fill Kingsholm stadium twice over – and 2,000 new cases are being diagnosed every year.

As part of Diabetes Prevention Week (16 April to 22 April), NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people how to spot symptoms of the condition.

Dr Shabari Hosur, Clinical Lead for Prevention of Diabetes at the CCG, explains:

“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, caused when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly. This means that the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it. If undiagnosed, it can lead to blindness, kidney failure, stroke and many other complications.

Type 2 diabetes often affects people over the age of 40. It is associated with poor lifestyles and being overweight – but the good news is that it is mostly preventable by losing weight and taking more exercise.”

The CCG is urging people to check for the following symptoms:

  1. peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  2. feeling thirsty all the time
  3. feeling very tired
  4. losing weight without trying
  5. itching around your genitals, or repeatedly getting thrush
  6. cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  7. blurred vision

You are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • are over 40, or over 25 for south Asian people
  • have a close relative with diabetes – such as a parent, brother or sister
  • are overweight or obese
  • are of south Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or black African origin – even if you were born in the UK

There is a simple way to check your risk levels – just grab a tape measure and weighing scales and visit riskscore.diabetes.org.uk.

Help is at hand in Gloucestershire and more than 1,100 people who are at risk of developing the condition have already been referred by their GP to take part in the ‘Healthier You’ Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Participants are given advice on nutrition, exercise and suggested behaviour changes to maintain a healthy weight or become more active, which could stop or delay the onset of the disease.

The changes people make to their lifestyle based on learning about these topics can make huge improvements to their health.

So far, the initiative, which is free to participants, has been introduced in Gloucester City, Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean and plans are in place for it to extend across the county by summer.

For help and advice visit diabetes.org.uk and lwtcsupport.co.uk/gloucestershire